Mullaghmeen Forest is worth a visit – well worth a detour off the Dublin-Sligo road into Co. Westmeath. This is one hidden gem you must add to your bucket list!
Mullaghmeen Forest is located between Castlepollard and Oldcastle and is the largest planted beech forest in Ireland. Best of all, this is not a densely planted forest, so there are opportunities to view the stunning scenery. You can see north across the farm land to Co. Cavan and spot the blue shimmering of Lough Sheelin in the distance.
Broadleaved forest with great scenery
There are 1,000 acres of broadleaved forest here, and plenty of way-marked trails. We picked the White Trail, which is approx. 8km, and you’d need a certain level of fitness and mobility to deal comfortably with some of the inclines. Fortunately, you can rest up on the seats dotted along the trail, so take a moment to pause a while and enjoy the scenery!
You will also see Sitka spruce, Scots pine, and Noble fir, with bluebells carpeting the forest in season. On our walk, moss provided nature’s blanket. As a result, the woodland’s floor was bathed in a soft green eye-catching hue.
Along the way, you’ll spot the remnants of stone walls from famine times and come across a small famine garden.
Mullaghmeen Forest Trails
There are four trails in Mullaghmeen Forest: the easy, 1.4km Yellow Loop; the moderate 3.5km Red Loop; the strenuous 4.4km Blue Loop that takes you to the Summit. And, finally, the strenuous 8km White Loop will take you around the forest perimeter.
The facilities include car parking and picnic areas, so you’re well sorted!
PS. Westmeath is now part of the Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands brand, so get exploring …