Flora,Fauna, and Folklore Trail 2

Hikes, Tracks & Trails at Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore estate is fortunate to be the home to one of the few woodlands in Connemara. The very name “Kylemore” is derived from the old Irish place name “Coill Mor” meaning “Big Wood”.

At the heart of Kylemore estate is an ancient native woodland. Several 19th-century travel journals describe an old forest in the Kylemore Valley before the Castle was built by the Henry’s.

“.. and the mountain on the north side of the lake which overhangs the road is still covered with the remains of an ancient forest admirably situated for an ambuscade – hence the name Kylemore (the Great Wood)’.
‘Sporting Magazine’ published in 1842

As the Henry family settled in the valley, they took it upon themselves to re-establish the former glory of the Kylemore Woodland. They planted 300,000 trees over several years. Native, non-native, and so-called “specimen trees” collected from all over the world.

Kylemore woodland can be classified as a “Coastal Temperate Rainforest” or a “Celtic Rainforest” . A woodland influenced by the oceanic climate of high rainfall and little fluctuation in the average annual temperature. Perfect conditions for a unique vegetation of lichens, fungi, liverworts, mosses and ferns.

Today the Community of Benedictine Nuns invite you to discover a variety of estate walks that will immerse you in this wonderous green world.

Discover the hidden tracks and trails of the Kylemore Abbey Estate on one of Connemara's most spectacular mountain hikes and woodland and river walks. Experience the beautiful scenery and learn about the fascinating folklore of Kylemore and Connemara.

Walks & Trails

Kylemore’s 1,000 acre estate is traversed with a number of beautiful woodland, lakeshore and riverside walks. Newly opened walks follow old paths as they take you through the less seen parts of the estate. Tree Trails, helpful signage and interesting facts for kids on route will keep the whole family entertained as you discover the fascinating ecology and history of Kylemore and the wider Connemara region.

All walks and trails are included in your ticket. Good footwear is recommended, walks and trails vary in difficulty please see the individual signage for each trail.

Dawros River Walk
Paidin Mor BridgeFlowing from Kylemore Lough to the Atlantic Ocean, three viewing points along the Dawros river invite visitors to enjoy its gentle flow, engage in local stories, and learn about the ecosystem of the river, surrounding fields and valleys at three separate stopping points:
  • Racecourse Panorama
  • Paidín Mórs Bridge
  • Salmon Run
1km/30min walk - Gravel path.

Horsechestnut Loop
Horse ChestnutWeave through a meandering horseshoe shaped tunnel, past the Pony Paddock to find yourself at an impressive Horsechestnut Tree. Learn about how the seasons change the woodland and enjoy your own woodland adventure.

200m/5min walk - Uneven gravel path.

Flora, Fauna, & Folklore Trail - CLOSED
The 1km trail takes the visitor to a previously unseen part of Kylemore on a meandering path through fields, meadows, and woodlands, offering spectacular views across the Twelve Bens and shares the folklore behind some of Irelands most recognisable wildflowers and wildlife.

1km/30mins Walk - Gravel path - Good footwear required.

Tree Trail
Woodland Trails MapA trail that takes in much of the estate and guides you through 25 different species of tree which are at home in the Kylemore estate. This self-guided tour teaches you about each of the trees, their origins, defining features, and modern uses. A trail that takes in much of the estate and guides you through 24 different species of tree which are at home in the Kylemore estate. This self-guided tour teaches you about each of the trees, their origins, defining features, and modern uses.

Along main avenues throughout the estate - Paved and gravel paths.

The Sruffaunduff Waterfall
Enjoy the spectacular view of one of Kylemore’s largest waterfalls. After years of being covered in growth, the recently uncovered waterfall is a spectacular site, particularly after a strong West of Ireland rain shower, and was a key attraction for Mitchell Henry and his Victorian contemporaries.


Private hikes take you across the rugged Duchruach Mountain which lies behind Kylemore Abbey. Our experienced guide will regale you and your group with the history, lore and spectacular wildlife as you navigate the mountain. Get up close with the Sacred Heart Statue and powerful waterfalls and see witness the “Garden Lake” which has supplied Kylemore with fresh, pure water for over 150 years.

Please note the Sacred Heart Statue is only accessible by guided hike.


Important Notes:

  • Advanced booking is required for group and private hikes.
  • To book a hike please call the Visitor Centre on 095 52001 or email bookings@kylemoreabbey.com
  • All Guided Hikes are subject to guide availability, weather and safety considerations.
  • Kylemore Abbey and Gardens Ltd reserve the right to cancel a hike.
  • Maximum group size is 14 persons per guide, for larger groups, a second guide can be booked.
  • Safety Considerations:
  • Hill walking is not devoid of risk. The paths have sections of loose stones and depending on the weather may be slippery.
  • The paths cross wet boggy ground, small streams and steep ground as the paths reaches heights of 300m above the Abbey.
  • To minimize risk ensure you have appropriate hiking footwear, rain gear, extra warm clothes and or/ sunscreen and a bottle of water with you.
  • Participants must be aged 14 years and over. Participants under 18 years must be accompanied by an adult. Participants should have a reasonable level of fitness. 
  • Email: bookings@kylemoreabbey.com | Tel: +353 95 52001

Private hikes are currently on hold. We apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to opening our hikes again once it is safe to do so.