Just as you leave Abbeyleix town heading south, next to the Manor Hotel is a sign for Killamuck Bog. This natural piece of our heritage has been developing since the last Ice Age!
Like most of the town, the bog was part of the de Vesci Estate, Bord na Mona took over for a number of years before being handed back to the care of local community groups since 2009, and taken care it has been!
Sections of a railway line built through the bog in the 19th Century have now been developed as a looped walk. Beginning at the entryway next to the hotel, a straight trail leads all the way down to the boundary of the bog. There are information boards in the early stages of the trail where you can learn about the habitat that you are wandering through, along with what plants and wildlife you may encounter on your visit. A very special hotel, “Bugingham Pallice” has been developed by local children for creepy-crawlies to rest their little legs along their way. Just after this you will see a turn to the right and a boardwalk, this is the official route for the loop or you could do as we accidentally done and complete the walk in the opposite direction!
By continuing along the straight trail first you will be saving the interesting meandering boardwalk for the end, plus you will have the benefit of walking down and not up the steep railway bridge (but it’s only very, very short so no biggie). About 1400metres into the walk there will be another notice board for the Raised Bog and a long boardwalk that brings you right out to the centre of the bog. This is great fun to embrace the feeling of such wide-open space and if you make a springtime visit; watch out for frogspawn in the water.
This walk took about 1 hour 45 minutes with lots of stopping to take in the views and the odd few minutes’ shelter out of the showers. If you do have little ones with you who may not be able for the entire loop, take the shorter walk out onto the Boardwalk, just be sure to bring your wellies!
The Manor Hotel kindly allow use of their car park for walkers and they offer lovely fresh food in their bar area. Within Abbeyleix town, the Gallic Kitchen does great coffee, fresh salads & quiches in their bright café on Main Street.
Another hidden gem close by to Abbeyleix is Grantstown Lake, where you can stop off & stretch your legs on long motorway journeys. You can find out more here: