Walk of the Week:
Ballinamuck Bog Loop, Ballinamuck, Co Longford
Distance: 5k Ascent: 120m/20m Estimated time: 1hr 30m to 2hrs Grade: Easy Terrain: Bog roads/green tracks Map: OS Sheet 34, N206 896
Ballinamuck is of historic interest by virtue of the battle fought there in 1798, which pitted Irish and French forces against the English.
In recent years, the village has benefited from Thomas Flanagan's historic novel The Year of the French and the later film.
From the village travel the 1k to the R198 and turn left towards Arvagh. After a kilometre take a right on to a narrow road. The trailhead (marked by a mapboard) is on the right after 1k. It is signposted from the village.
Follow the purple arrow for 200m (passing a roadway on your right) to reach the start of a gravel road on your left. Turn left and follow the road into the bogland area. After 200m you reach a T-junction from where the loop proper begins. Turn right here.
Follow the purple arrows for 500m to reach a green track on your left as the road turns right. Turn right and continue for 500m to reach a T-junction with a surfaced road. Turn left, follow the road for 200m and turn left.
This section is less travelled and gravel soon becomes grass. Watch for sections where people still cut and stack turf for fuel. After 1.5k you regain the junction at B above. This time, turn right.
Follow the gravel road for 200m to rejoin the surfaced road, turn right and enjoy the 200m back to the trailhead.