Leaves are changing, there is a chill in the air and the hats and scarves are emerging from storage. That can only mean one thing: autumn has officially landed.
Walks, trails and treks of Kildare boast some of the most scenic routes in Ireland, with ancient relics and archaeological sites dotted throughout the county.
Whether you’re looking for a short Sunday stroll, or an adventure through the woods, Kildare is blessed with it all. From lake loops and river walks, to forest hikes and historical trails, there is something for everybody to enjoy this October.
Here at Into Kildare, we have put together our top five autumnal walks around Kildare this October:
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Located just over 30-minutes outside of Kildare Town lies the Donadea Forest Park. With three seperate walking trails, all ranging from 1km to 6km, there is something to suit all ages here.
For a short afternoon stroll, follow the Lake Walk, which loops around waterlily-filled lake and takes no more than half an hour. The Nature Trail is just under 2km, which winds its way through some of the dramatic architecture of the estate. For more ambitious walkers, the Aylmer Walk is a 6km Slí na Slainte trail which brings walkers all around the park.
Not only does this park boast stunning autumnal walks, but it also has some ancient relics and archaeological sites to admire. For something different, there are three permanent orienteering courses in the park, as well as picnic spots to brave the brisk October weather.
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Admire the seasonal colours and the foliage changing on an easy-breezy Sunday stroll along the Athy Slí. Starting from the courthouse (built in 1857) by the River Barrow, this 2.5km walk runs side-by-side the river, up the Barrow Path, passing St Michael’s Church of Ireland, under the Horse Bridge and Railway Bridge, and along the Canal Path.
This circular route can be walked in either direction and is great for walking furry friends, pushing strollers, or simply to get out for 30-minutes to enjoy the October sunshine.
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Enjoy an autumnal stroll, a family day out or even a tranquil weekend along the banks of one of Ireland’s most historical rivers, the River Barrow. With something of interest at every turn on this 200-year-old towpath, this river is the perfect companion for anyone walking or cycling along the Barrow Way.
An audio guide is available with over two hours worth of listening, filled with stories and information on ancient kings of Leinster, the Devil’s eyebrow, the miniature cathedral of St Laserian and more.
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Nestled in Ireland’s Ancient East is the County Kildare Monastic Trail, the heart of Christianity origins in Ireland.
This beautiful trail combines both the best of Ireland’s nature as well as its unique ancient history. Stretching from Castledermot to Oughterard near Straffan, this 92km trail will lead you to atmospheric ruins of age-old monasteries, relic round towers and time-worn rustic high crosses.
A free audio guide can be downloaded to help you delve deeper into the ancient monastic history of Ireland, as you weave your way through monastic sites like Castledermot Monastery and Friary, Old Kilkullen, Clane, St. Brigid’s Cathedral and Oughterard Round Tower.
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What better way to enjoy an Irish autumn than to get out and explore the woodlands of Kildare. Just a five-minute drive from Rathangan Village lies the beautiful and relatively undiscovered Killinthomas Woods. Filled with bluebells in the spring and and orange floor of foliage in the autumn, there are options for both short and long walks, all starting and ending in the carpark.
There are signposts dotted all over the trails, making this 10km walk easy to navigate for visitors. Walkers can enjoy the diverse ecosystem of the wood, with a wide variety of flora and fauna.
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