Blogger: Lauren Lucy Crowley
For anyone who has been to the regional park in Ballincollig….. you’re probably thinking its not exactly the most hidden of gems… most primary schools in the area go on nature walks there, local GAA and athletic clubs use the grounds for training, and it is a very popular spot for a Sunday morning stroll! However… this is why secret entrances are always better… who knew something you may walk past everyday could be such a special hidden gem!
Most people access the regional park from the western side of Ballincollig, out the Inniscarra road. Just before the Inniscarra bridge, there is the main entrance to the park on the right hand side, which has a car park, access to the playing fields, and the walking trails. This is a really lovely walk, with clear sign posts, running trails, a playground for the little ones, even a café for a delicious and well-deserved nutella crepe and a coffee after your workout! This western end of the park area is generally thought of as the Regional Park, and don’t get me wrong, it is a fantastic spot to clear your head out in the fresh air and go for a pleasant walk. Sometimes its nice to find somewhere a little more hidden though…
If you access the park from Ballincollig GAA grounds side, rather than the main entrance you will be in for a far more peaceful, and enchanting walk. With the trails mainly taking you through forested areas, with beautiful fresh flowers growing on either side of the paths, it really is serene. There a multiple paths to choose from, all twisting and turning back and forth from the water, so you can make your walk as long or as short as you like! It is here where most of the Gunpowder mills buildings are dotted about…. what now stand as picturesque but aged structures with ivy growing down them, it is fascinating to think of the history embedded in these fountains… if only these walls could speak we could learn an abundance of Irish history from them!
Highly recommend this walk on a summers evening. There is something about walking through a forest, along side the waters edge that you just cant beat for clearing your head! Enjoy x
(i) The meandering paths from the gunpowder mills side eventually lead to the ‘main’ part of the regional park, so if you wish to keep walking, you can go to the playground/ take a trip to the café.
(ii) Dogs are very welcome in the park – however it is advisable to have them on a leash (particularly in the main park area)