Marlogue Woods in the south east part of the Great Island may just be the hidden hiking trail that many hikers don’t know about. Or maybe because it is a bit far from the main centre of Cobh, many would rather not venture outside the town.
For the curious and adventurous, let me assure you the drive is worth it because Marlogue Woods has the old world feel with mature trees around its surroundings and the quiet you are looking for a forest.
According to an old Ordinance Survey map, the wood is referred to as Walterstown Wood, and could be traced as being part of the Smith-Barry estate, the same family associated with Barryscourt Castle in Carrigtwohill and Fota House.
From the main road, the way to the woods maybe confusing and even unexpected but once you get there the delight to see and walk in these trails and unbeaten path is unreservingly special. The 22,000 hectares of forest is a hiker’s haven for meditative stroll under the canopy of greens and unmistakable scent of trees.
Probably the best feature of this park is that the forest slowly descend to the rocky shore beach of Cork Harbour. This is a good rest stop or swim stop after a fairly easy hike from the park entrance.
The park does not boast a lot of amenities but there are picnic benches right at the entrance. There are also very limited parking spots but most of the time, particularly on week days, there are not a lot of parked vehicles though.
The park is dog-friendly, and many dog-owners hike down to the beach to take their doggies for a splash. Aside from hikers, you may see mountain bikers, and also bird watchers and amateur botanists at any given day. The park has so many to offer and this is remarkable because this is just outside of Cobh and you don’t have to go out of the Great Island to find this hidden beauty.
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