Piltown - Mountain Grove Loop hich is situated in the heart of rural south Kilkenny.
A-B. From the trailhead the loop immediately enters the woodlands and follows a forestry track along the left bank of a stream. After a short distance the loop joins a Y-junction of tracks – you veer left here onto the ‘upper’ track.
B-C. Follow the track uphill and parallel to a stone boundary wall on your left. After almost 1km the loop turns sharp right near the boundary to the forestry and descends sharply towards a stream. Watch out for a fine example of a standing stone in a bordering field on your left.
C-D. Cross the stream and follow the boundary wall (on your left) for 1km before swinging right and downhill to reach an exit point from the forestry. Here the loop sweeps right and joins a wider sanded forestry roadway.
D-E. The wider sanded roadway soon gives way to a narrow ‘green’ track and after 500m reaches a 3-way junction. Turn sharp left here.
E-F. After less than 100m, the loop turns right and crosses a short section of forestry to join a forestry track where it turns left. Following the stream this track descends gently to a 3-way junction where it turns right and reaches an exit from the forestry through a stone stile.
F-A. Joining the surfaced road, turn right - the trailhead is only 30m away.
The village of Piltown is a picturesque village situated in the heart of rural south Kilkenny. It lies between the undulating hills and forests of South Kilkenny and the foothills of the Comeraghs in Waterford. On the approach to the village is the impressive octagonal building known as the ‘tower’. This is the unfinished monument in memory to the son of Lord Bessborough who was thought to be dead during the Napoleonic wars – but who survived and returned home. The area has many tourist attractions - nearby are the world renowned High Crosses of Ahenny and Kilkieran, portal tombs, Leac an Scáil, Ormonde House and Kilkenny Castle. The long-distance walking route The South Leinster Way passes through the village and, on it’s way northward to Mullinavat, passes Mountain Grove in the parish of Templeorum. Once a thriving community, the decline of farming in Ireland has had a profound effect on Templeorum which is very rural. This loop explores the beautiful mixed woodlands at Mountain Grove – and has been developed through the TrailKilkenny Programme.