Hiking on the Cooley Peninsula
There are a wide range of hiking trails for every fitness level here on the Cooley Peninsula. For those that would just like a modest stroll, there is no better trail than the Carlingford Lough Greenway. Almost flat and accessible at various points, it’s just 7km from Carlingford Marina to Omeath with cafes and facilities at both ends – Rabello Bistro in Carlingford Marina and a plethora of options in Omeath.
If you are going to try to get up Slieve Foye, we would suggest that unless you know the mountain you take up the services of local Guide Anam Tours. You’ll find Anam Tours on Facebook and Instagram and Clodagh leads walks all year round. We often get to watch the helicopter circling around as Greenore Coast Guard scramble up the mountain to rescue a walker as there are always dangers for the unsuspecting.
Here are a few established hiking and walking routes, maps for which you can download on the Internet
- Slieve Foye Loop, Carlingford
This walk is mostly on good paths and is marked with blue arrows. It is around a 280 metre ascent and 8km distance, rated as Hard and requiring above average levels of fitness
- Barnavave Loop, Carlingford
Similar terrain, the Barnavave Loop is 14km and rises 350 metres. Rated Moderate to Hard, it requires above average levels of fitness
- Commons Loop, Carlingford
Requiring moderate to average levels of fitness, this 4km hike rises to 250m.
- Molly National Loop Walk, Grange
Rated as Easy to average, this 4km walk starts at John Long’s pub in Grange.
- Rooskey National Loop Walk, Grange
Moderate to above average, this 7km walk ascends 220 metres and starts at John Long’s.
- Annaloughan National Loop Walk
An 8km walk overlooking Dundalk and suitable for moderate to above average fitness levels.
- The Táin Way
A 40km, long-distance trail around the Cooley Peninsula that is typically completed in two days. Personally, I would start over in Ravensdale and then spend the night in Carlingford.
Biking on the Cooley Peninsula
There is some great Mountain Biking to be enjoyed in the Cooley Mountains.
- Táin Trail, Carlingford
From Carlingford you can go up into the Slieve Foye Forest and ride along the Táin Trail. Held annually is ‘Da Cooley Thriller’ which starts in Carlingford and completes a 52km traverse of the Cooley Mountains. There are Mountain Bike trails in abundance on the Ravensdale side of Slieve Foye around the Black Mountain and the Lumpers area. You need to Google ‘Ravensdale Mountain Biking’ and you’ll find them.
- Crossing Carlingford Lough
If you wish to take a trip across the Lough on the Carlingford Lough Ferry, you will discover amazing Mountain Bike centres at RosTrevor, Tollymore and my favourite, Castlewellan.
- McCrystals CycloCross Track, Jenkinstown
New to the area is McCrystals CycloCross track in Jenkinstown. The sport is getting more and more popular and all ages are able to enjoy this purpose built track. You’ll find ‘mccrystalscxtrack’ on Facebook.
- Cycling Clubs
For Road Cycling (and other disciplines) there are a number of Cycling Clubs in the region. Myself, I am a member of Cuchulaain Cycling Club which is based in Dundalk and holds multiple events for all types of cycling in the area.
Boating on the Carlingford Lough
I know that when I get to the seaside, I immediately feel the insatiable urge to get onto the water ! How to do this in Carlingford & The Cooley Peninsula. Well let me tell you, there are so many ways!
Louth Adventures are based in Carlingford and operate two types of boat tours. Choose between a one hour boat tour on board (a) 1940’s tug boat, (b) Brienne or (c) a Rib Safari experience to get your heart racing and a chance to enjoy the local wildlife including Finn, the Carlingford Lough dolphin.
Carlingford Sail Training Centre is based near OnYerBike at Carlingford Marina. Whether you are new to sailing, need a refresher, or wish to expand your sailing skills, they have Irish Sailing Association (ISA) Certified Courses available that are perfect for you. Racing, cruising, adult learn to sail programs and Summer Sailing camps for children are on-water activities that can be enjoyed on Carlingford Lough.
There are a lot of exciting adventures to be explored.
- SailingAn ideal way to cruise across the Lough from Greenore to Greencastle is on the Scenic Carlingford Lough Ferry. With regular sailings all year round, The Carlingford Lough Ferry is the ideal way to get from South to North and back again! You may also get lucky and see Finn the Dolphin chasing alongside.
- Water based activitiesIf you fancy stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing or kayaking, then Carlingford Adventure Centre have them all on offer complete with all the equipment you need and other water based activities as well. Just Google Carlingford Adventure Centre and you’ll see that they have a huge array of ‘Land, Sea and Sky’ activities for all the family
- Windsurfing & Kitesurfing
The Cooley Peninsula is a fantastic destination for Windsurfers and Kite Surfers. I often see them taking to the water from Greer’s Quay or more often from Templetown Beach which is a Blue Flag beach on the Peninsula.
Other Outdoor Activities All Around
If the great outdoors is your thing, then Carlingford & The Cooley Peninsula is hard to beat.
We are very fortunate to have Carlingford Adventure Centre and Skypark in Carlingford offering a fabulous range of Activities. Choose from Laser Combat, Ziptopia, Rock Climbing, Orienteering, Hillwalking, Kayaking, Canoeing, Water Trampoline, Raft Building, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Canoe Rafting, Footgolf, Crystal Maze, High Ropes, Archery, Frisbee Disc Golf to name but some of the ever expanding activities on offer.
But it doesn’t end there. Other Outdoor Activities on offer include a Farm Visit, Paintball, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Banana Boating, Sea Angling, Leprechaun Cavern, Golf at Greenore, Horseriding, Birdwatching.
Whether you visit Carlingford and The Cooley Peninsulas for a few hours, a day, a weekend or longer then you can be sure that there is lots of Activities for you and your family to enjoy. We do of course live in Ireland and so to enjoy the Activities you need to make sure that you have the right clothes and equipment. We can’t promise you the perfect weather, but we do promise you a very warm welcome!
Check Out the Carlingford Adventure Jerusalema Video
Our favourite website that describes all the great Places to Stay in Carlingford, Activities and Things to Do, our Heritage and History Places to Eat and Drink & also Shops in Carlingford is www.discovercarlingford.com
We also have created a new website www.carlingfordloughgreenway.