The start of this loop walk is located in the townland of Ballycuggaran, the homeland of the O'Cuggarans, an important family at the... more » court of Brian Boru. The walk overlooks Lough Derg, the Annacarriga valley and the hills that stretch from Caherhurley to Ogonnelloe.
This Coillte Forest Park is situated on Crag Hill on the lower slopes of the Slieve Bernagh Mountains overlooking Lough Derg. On the southern side of Crag is a fort, dating to the early Christian period which was the original home of the O’Briens and the reputed birthplace of St. Flannan. Aoibheal’s Rock, the legendary abode of Aoibheal, fairy queen of the O’Briens, is at the highest point of Ballycuggaran. The great oak woods that originally clothed these hills were cut down to fire the iron furnaces of east Clare as well as for shipbuilding.
The main tree species to be seen in this forest are spruce, larch, fir, oak, beech and ash. The higher slopes consist of heather, rush, broadleaved scrub and bracken. There is a large diversity of fauna in the area including badger, fox, woodcock and pheasant. Wild goats can be seen on the upper slopes of Slieve Bernagh.
The loop walk is part of the network of Shannon Region Loop Walks and is marked using the standard red Shannon Region Trails directional arrows. The trail is marked in both directions. less «