To assist visitors, Coillte have posted their Walker’s Welcome sign at forest entrances. On site there is also a fantastic Children’s Playground, Spraoi sa Choill, where your children will be able to play on the wide variety of eco-friendly equipment such as slides, climbing frame, sand area and zip line, which allows children to swing from one bar to the next. The new playground fits in with the surrounding landscape by using Robinia wood throughout.
Cratloe Wood Car Park and Picnic Site is located adjacent to Cratloe village and on the western side Cratloe Forest property which is over 700 Hectares in extent. It overlooks the Estuary of the river Shannon which is the longest river in Ireland and Great Britain. The Galtee Mountains in Co. Tipperary can be seen to the east, the Ballyhoura Mountains in North Cork to the south and Shannon Airport to the west.
The geology of the area is Old Red Sandstone. The main tree species are Sitka and Norway Spruce, Larches, Pines with Oak, Beech and Birch being the main broadleaf species and naturally regenerating Holly and Rowan. This area is synonymous with Oak. It is said that as far back as the 9th century invading kings from Ulster record that the House of Parliament in London was roofed with Cratloe Oak. On the O`Brien Estate nearby there is a stand of Oak which was planted in 1777. In Coillte’s regeneration plans priority is given to the planting of Oak where ground conditions are suitable. The main fauna of the area are Foxes, Red Squirrels, Badgers with Woodcock and Pheasants being the main bird species.
The walking trail from the car park is about 2 Kms long but there is an extensive road network throughout the rest of the wood; so many hours can be passed away here. Half a kilometer in from 2.5 Hectares in extent and is inhabited by duck and waterfowl. There is also a picnic site with tables.