This walk above the village of Ashford gives some fabulous views extending over Co. Limerick and into counties Clare and Tipperary. It is almost completely off road.
The first section leads you into the historic Cobs road (steep) which in the past was a Mass path leading people to their Church ceremony and children to school. After this relatively short climb you reach the main road.
As you walk downhill from here admire the spectacular views laid out before you. The winding road leads you to the Mass Rock where people gathered in secret to attend Mass in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Continuing downhill watch for the entrance on the left which will lead you on another climb along a forestry track. A bridge leads you on to farm passageway where you can sit and admire views of the Galtees and Knockfierna. On a clear day the river Shannon and Thomond Park stadium in Limerick city can be spotted in the distance.
Return to the trailhead in Ashford walking downhill via the Cobs road.
From the trailhead in Ashford (outside the Church) with your back to the Church turn right and walk past the primary school. At the grotto turn right, following the green arrows. Follow the trail along this passageway veering right and climbing steeply up the ‘Cobs Road’. Continue for 1km ( leaving the private dwelling on your right) and climb the last section until you reach the main road. Take a rest on the seat and enjoy the view before you turn right and resume your walk.
Walk downhill through the acute bends until you come to the Mass rock with picturesque views of Limerick, Clare and Cork. Following the green arrows continue downhill until you reach a forestry entrance to the left. There is a stiff climb for 1km. The trail continues onto a pathway between rows of sitka spruce. Cross over the timber bridge that leads you onto a farmland passageway. Cross the next stile, continue past the private dwelling until you reach the junction with the road. Turn right.
Walk 280m until you reach the entrance to the ‘Cobs Road’ on your left. Return on the same route following the green arrows. This will bring you back to the village of Ashford. Turn left returning to the trailhead.
Though less than 6km in length this loop is strenuous and best suited to well seasoned hikers.