Lough Key Forest Park - Boyle
Lough Key Forest and Activity Park is an expansive, verdant nature area encompassing a lake and several islands within eight hundred hectares. It is located on the southern shore of Lough Key in County Roscommon in the centre of Ireland. It is without a doubt one of Ireland's most extensive and picturesque forest parks. It also forms part of the Shannon Navigation system.
This area was originally part of the Rockingham estate, that was owned by the King family, the family home was destroyed by a fire in 1957, and completely demolished in 1971. All that remains are some stables, outbuildings and creepy tunnels, that were used by the servants to keep them out of sight. In 1973 the Moylurg Tower was constructed and close to here is the entrance to a servants tunnel.
The park is a popular area for both locals and visitors, as it offers so much to see and do with many unique, natural and historical features. There are a number of unique attractions as well as a choice of leisurely pursuits and energetic activities on offer. It is home to picturesque ruins, historical and archaeological points of interest, including ringforts, a souterrain, a 12th century abbey on tiny Trinity Island and a 19th century castle on Castle Island, an ice house, gazebo, Drummans Bridge, a deer paddock and a bog garden. It is a particular family favourite owing to its wishing chair, bog gardens, fairy bridge and observation tower.
There are numerous well marked walking paths and trails through the native woodlands, bog garden and forests. Look out for the many species of bird and animal who dwell in the parks diverse habitats. Wild flowers also flourish here and add a beautiful dimension to the park. Bring a picnic and enjoy it here on the glorious grounds.
The Lough Key experience, is a self guided audio tour that takes guests through the original 19th century service tunnels to the top of the Moylurg viewing tower and over the Tree Canopy Walk, a short elevated walkway through the tree canopy, it has stunning panoramic views of the lakes and across three counties. It is Irelands only Tree Canopy Walk.
New additions to the park include the Boda Borg Challenge which comprises of a series of rooms filled with activities and puzzles, great for those rainy days. It involves teamwork where you progress using different skills to the next level. Zipit Forest Adventures, is an aerial obstacle course through the trees with zip lines. There is also the outdoor adventure playground, which provides a safe and vibrant environment. All of these activities incur a charge.
In July and August, Lough Key Boats provides hourly boar trips across one of the most scenic lakes in Ireland. They also have row boats and power boats for hire. Also available for hire are electric and regular bikes where visitors can follow the special trails. Woodland Segway offers guided tours of the woodlands on a segway, a fun and unique way to get around.
At the Visitor Centre guests can find out all about the facilities and attractions here in the park. Also located here is a restaurant, gift shop, toilets and baby changing facilities.
The park and estate are open throughout the year.