Monicknew Woods is set in a valley typical of the deeply incised glens of Slieve Bloom, in County Laois. The Monicknew bridge, known locally as the glen bridge, dominates the valley. It was constructed in 1840 in the style of a Roman arch. A variety of hardwood trees and shrubs typical of the semi-natural cover of such valleys can be seen here. Native species comprising oak, ash, birch, elm and holly predominate. In the poorer soils sitka spruce, Japanese larch and lodgepole pine are found. The ground flora includes ferns, woodbrush, bilberry and hyacinth.
Slieve Bloom is a place of rest where one may mend the troubled spirit agitated by the bustling modern world. A few hours, or better still a few days, walking or exploring the healthy moors or shadowy glens will refresh any visitor. For the less energetic there are many viewing points along the high roads. A nature trail for Monicknew Woods is available as are maps and guides to the Slieve Bloom.
Guided tours are provided on a limited basis to primary schools only.
The Slieve Blooms are a birdwatchers paradise with varying trails offering a wide variety of birds and birdsong to experience.