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Co Roscommon: one walk, one run, one hike, one swim, one cycle, one park and one outdoor gym

Your essential, outdoor, family-friendly guide to Co Roscommon

When the weather is good, there is so much to do outdoors in Ireland – solo, or with family or friends. Here are seven activities - with locations, descriptions, tips and some maps for a general guide.

Below you can read John O'Dwyer's pick for a great walking path, Conor O'Keeffe on a running route, Rozanna Purcell recommends a hiking trail, Mary McCarthy on an outdoor swimming location, Ian O'Riordan picks a cycle trip, Sylvia Thompson on a family-friendly park and Fiona Alston selects a popular outdoor gym.

And remember, whatever you do and wherever you go, please be safe. And enjoy.

Name Boyle/Lough Key Greenway
Distance 8km linear trail
Approximate duration 2 hours
Difficulty Easy
Starting point Google Maps Boyle (grid reference G 804 026); you can follow this guide
Amenities Boyle and Lough Key
New and extremely scenic route that leads elegantly past a marina, along the banks of the Boyle Canal and then through splendid woodlands with a finish in Lough Key Forest Park.


Name: Lough Key Forest Park Slí
Length: 3km-4km
Dogs Allowed: Yes – On lead
Buggy Accessible: Yes
Trail description: Have a run through Lough Key Forest Park. This 350 hectare park of amazing natural beauty, combines woodland and water with a wealth of points of interest including – Bog Garden, Fairy Bridge, Ice House and a Wishing Chair together with a variety of on-site and local facilities and attractions. There is so much to see and do for all ages in Lough Key.

Route Information: Lough Key offers a range of trails for runners, all trailheads starting from the car park. The Drumman's Island Trail (Green Trail) is 3.5km in length and skirts around the lough and takes you on a short loop around Drumman's Island. The Miners Way Historical Trail (Purple Trail) is the longest of the routes at 4.2km in length. It runs through Irish woodland and takes you along the eastern side of Erris Bay. The Bog Garden Trail (Red Trail) is for those who prefer a shaded forest to a breezy lough shoreline and is 4km in length. The short of the available routes is Slí na Sláinte at 3km in length. It is also the only non-circular route and is an Out and Back route. Whatever type of run takes your fancy you will find it on Lough Key's trails. (Aided by: Visit Roscommon)

Hike name Lough Key Nature Trail
Distance 8km
Elevation gain 180m
Approximate duration 2-2.5 hours
Difficulty Beginner
Starting point See AllTrails Lough Key Nature Trail or
Amenities Picnic tables
Dog-friendly? Yes
Tips Don't forget to check out the underground tunnels or Zipit if you're feeling extra-adventurous

Name: Hodson pillar
Location: Google Map: Hodson Bay Hotel
A small beach on the tranquil shore of lough Ree on the Shannon in front of the hotel
Amenities: No
Lifeguard: No
Water quality: Longford water quality good EPA 2017
Tips: Take the challenge and do the short swim out to Hodson pillar, the (reputed) centre of Ireland. You can wade out part of the way to the island. It's a rock little island so wear swimming shoes if stopping or else swim around and back. Head into the restaurant at the hotel for lunch after.

Name: Green Heartlands Route
Start location: Kiltoom (Stage 1)
Route: A designated six-stage tour around the green heartland countryside of south Roscommon.
Distance: 217km (in full)
Time: Dependent on stage
Highlights: Neatly divided into six daily routes giving the cyclist the option of one-day or six-day cycling tours, over a continuous 217km loop, with a dividing link road (stage 6) which separates the circuit into two shorter loops.
Look out for: Stage 1, Kiltoom to Drum, is the shortest route on the circuit and provides the ideal starting or finishing point.
Tips: For full route details see

Park name: Lough Key Forest and Activity Park, Boyle
Amenities: 800 hectares on the southern shore of Lough Key with woodland biking and walking trails, ziplines and boat hire.
Special features: The adventure playground has towers, slides, climbing frames, roundabouts, swings and puzzles.
Access: Car parking on site. Adults €8, child 5-17 €5. Extra charges for some activities. Google Map "Lough Key Forest".
Dogs: Yes.
Tip: Plan your activities in advance as there are so many things to do here.

Name: Loughnane Park, Roscommon Town
Equipment: Walker, cross trainer, fitness rider, shoulder flexor, leg press, waist extension, standing rotator.
Location: Google Maps
Information: As a cool-down from your workout, you should take a walk along the sculpture trail in the park and check out the castle ruins too.

Get Active Series
- 32 great walking routes in Ireland - one in each county
- 32 great hikes in Ireland
- 32 great running routes
- 32 great outdoor swim locations
- 32 great cycling routes
- 32 great parks
- 32 great outdoor gyms