TARA HILL

BLUE TRAIL

Distance: 5.4km (3.4 miles)
Ascent: 201m
Walking time: 1hr 15min
Waymarking: Blue
Grade:  Moderate

RED TRAIL

Distance: 5km (3.1 miles)
Ascent: 110m
Walking Time:  1hr
Waymarking: Red
Grade: Moderate

OSI Discovery Map Series 62

GRID REFERENCE:  T 207 619

SAT NAV:  52.413, -6.133

At 252 metres, this heather-sloped rocky outcrop gives panoramic views up and down the Wexford / Wicklow coastline. Two trails, starting from two different trailheads (Crab Tree – Blue and Cemetery – Red) give you different flavours of Tara Hill and its surroundings. The Red Slí an tSuaimhnais trail begins from Tara Hill cemetery just beyond the village itself and there is ample car-parking space. This trail brings you along atmospheric laneways which now and again open out to reveal the wonderful views of the coast. Look out for a 1798 graveyard and on the final sections of this walk you will notice the Stations of the Cross attached to the trees, where locals used to come and pray in remembrance of times past. The more demanding Blue Slí na n-Óg trail, beginning from the Ballinacarrig parking place (known locally as the Crab Tree) brings you on a walk which encompasses not just the higher slopes of Tara Hill itself, but its fascinating historical past. Along the way you will encounter the remains of a famine village, Soldier’s Hollow, Table Rock and on the summit, the cairn. This cairn has the crow’s-foot mark showing it was part of a military survey, using its height to provide possible defence in times of invasion. From this position can be seen Mount Snowdon in Wales, Croghan Kinsella in Co. Wicklow and Oulart Hill further south. On both walks, flora and fauna are in abundance, and the keen-eyed walker will sometimes spot the sparrowhawk and kestrel.

DON’T MISS

  • In the Church carpark is a board outlining the geological and historical background of this fascinating area.
  • Watch out for the evidence on the Blue trail of the famine village and other buildings on the hill which gave shelter and sustenance to its people during Ireland’s troubled times.

GETTING HERE

Directions:

Red Trail: From Gorey, take N11 (old Dublin Rd) North from Gorey. After Café/Car sales take the right to Ballymoney. Take first left at crossroads (the Cuckoo’s Nest) followed by first right. Stay on this road until you come to starting point of red trail on the left opposite Kilcavan Graveyard. Suitable for bus parking. From Bypass (M11) take exit 22 for Gorey. Take first left for Ballymoney and continue as above.

Blue Trail: From Gorey, take N11 (old Dublin Rd) North from Gorey. After Café/Car sales take the right to Ballymoney. Go straight through crossroads (the Cuckoo’s Nest) and stay on road until you come to V in the road and keep left for Tara Hill. Take the first left 0.5km and the Crab Tree parking is at top of road. No bus parking and limited space for up to 4 cars. From bypass (M11) take exit 22 for Gorey. Take first left for Ballymoney and continue as above.