Glenbarrow Trailhead – Old Mill Loop
In 2007, a series of looped walks were developed at various trailheads in the region following a mix of forest tracks, riverbanks, old roadways, and grassy trails. There are a few rough and rugged sections – but they rarely rise to high altitude and do not demand great stamina. This loop is one of three which start and finish at the Glenbarrow trailhead – key features include the bank of the spectacular River Barrow, a 3-tiered waterfall, the ruins of an old water mill, and broadleaf woodlands that, in late Spring, are ablaze with bluebells.
A-B. Start from the trailhead at Glenbarrow Car Park and follow the red arrow (and green and blue arrows which are for other loops) onto a downhill track. You are also on the Slieve Bloom Way marked with yellow arrows. After 200m reach the end of the downhill track and enter Glenbarrow Woods via wooden railings. After 200m take a right turn to a wooden footbridge and, after crossing the footbridge, turn left onto the bank of the River Barrow.
B-C. Follow the riverbank for 500m to the next footbridge and cross it to a marker post. Take a right here. After 100m you pass the flat rock at a wooden hut. Continue to follow the well worn path upriver and past the superb 3-tiered Clamp Hole waterfall. Note that walkers of the green loop turn at this point and return to the trailhead.
C-D. Continue to follow the path upriver. Approximately 500m from the waterfall the Slieve Bloom Way turns downhill to the right (towards a footbridge). You proceed straight on and, after 100m, the path splits on a bend. The blue loop veers left and heads uphill – you follow the red arrow, veering right into forestry.
D-E. Shortly afterwards you rejoin the bank of the River Barrow and follow it for more than 1km upstream
– taking a few small diversions into mature forestry on your left. At the end of this section watch out for the site of an old mill – the millstone still sits at the waters edge.
E-F. After leaving the old mill site, continue upriver for approximately 200m before turning sharp left (and uphill) to reach a forestry road where you turn left. You are now on your homeward journey.
F-G. Follow the forestry road for 1km to rejoin the blue loop as it ascends from your left. Continue straight on at this junction and follow the forestry road for a further 400m to reach a 3-way junction with a forestry road on the right. Veer right here.
G-A. Proceed uphill until you reach another forestry road on your right. Directly opposite it (on your left) is an entrance onto a downhill path into woodland. Take this path and follow it downhill through a mix of coniferous forestry and natural woodland – exiting at a forestry road at a barrier. Take a right here and follow the road for 100m back to the trailhead to Glenbarrow Car Park
Glenbarrow Trailhead – (2) Old Mill Loop
Ascent: 130 metres
Distance: 9km / 2 hours – 2 hours 30 minutes
Services: Clonaslee (3km), Rosenallis (3km)
Terrain: Forest tracks and paths and riverbank
Minimum Gear: Walking gear, raingear, fluid, snack and mobile phone.