A-B. Starting from the car park opposite the Grand Gates, pass the Gate Lodge, and enter Castlemorris Woods at a metal stile. Join a forestry road and follow the green (and red and purple) arrows. The red and purple arrows are for longer loops. Follow the forest road for over 1km reach an archway through which stone outbuildings (which were part of the courtyard of Castlemorris House) are visible. You turn left here – leaving the red and purple loops which both turn right.
B-C. The loop follows forestry roadway for approximately 200m before turning left at a 3-way junction. A long straight stretch of forest roadway through the expansive estate of 200 acres takes you to a T-junction where you rejoin the red and purple loops and turn left.
C-D. Follow the forest roadway around a right bend and along a straight stretch to reach a crossroads of forestry roads where you turn left onto a narrow track.
D-A. Follow the loop along this winding track to emerge on a forestry road. This is the roadway you started out on – turn right and enjoy the 200m back to the trailhead.
County Kilkenny is located in the south east of Ireland in the province of Leinster. Inhabitants of the county are often referred to as ‘cats’ - derived from the saying ‘to fight like cats’! The nickname has become synonomous with the county’s hurling team, one of the strongest in the country. County Kilkenny was formerly the Kingdom of Osraige, which existed from at least the 2nd century AD until the 13th century, and was bounded by the rivers Barrow and Suir. The wooded demesne of Castlemorris (more properly Castlemorres) was formerly home to the Morres family – and the family vault can still be seen in the churchyard of the nearby Aghaviller church and round tower. Unfortunately, much of the house is now demolished. The churchyard also contains the remains of an ancient round tower built to protect the occupants and valuables of monastic settlements from Viking raids. The grounds now merge with other woods totaling almost 2000 acres. This loop (marked with green arrows) is the shortest of three loops (the others are marked with red and purple arrows) developed in Castlemorris Woods as part of the Trails Kilkenny Programme.