Castlecomer - Captain's Loop
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The loop starts at the visitor’s car park at the Discovery Park in Castlecomer Demesne just 1km north of Castlecomer. superb Visitors Centre.
A-B. The loop starts at the visitor’s car park at the Discovery Park in Castlecomer Demesne just 1km north of Castlecomer. From the mapboard just outside the car park follow the red arrow along the sandy roadway – keeping the high stone wall on your right. The yellow and green arrows are for shorter loops - the purple arrows are for the longest Ardra Castle Loop). Walk for 100m to reach a barrier – pass through it and immediately veer left at the Y-junction.
B-C. Continue to follow the sandy roadway for 200m to reach a 3-way junction where the yellow and green loops turn right. You proceed straight here following the red (and purple) arrows. Stay on the sandy roadway for 600m to reach a junction where the purple loop turns right into woodland - proceed straight here. Round a right bend and, after 100m, you reach a 3-way junction - veer left.
C-D. Approximately 100m later, turn right at a sharp bend and continue to follow the red arrows along the forestry roadway - the green loop joins you from the right and leaves you a little later. You reach a picnic area and viewing point (on your right) where the purple loop rejoins from the left - proceed straight here.
D-A. Stay on the forestry roadway for 400m to reach a 3-way junction where the yellow and green loops join from the left. Continue straight to reach the metal barrier - turn left and it’s only 100m back to the car park.
The Captain’s Loop is is named after a former owner of the estate, Captian R.H. Prior Wandesforde who inherited it in the late 1800s. 'The Captain' was an important figure in the history of Castlecomer town and the associated mining industry.
The demesne comprises a number of elements including privately owned Visitors Centre, Local Authority owned playground, and Coillte owned forestry. Major development has taken place in recent years and it now offers a wide range of recreational opportunities for all ages. This includes a superb Visitors Centre, Footprints in Coal exhibition, children’s playground, fishing on the wonderfully restored leisure lakes, and walking on a choice of waymarked walking loops which include the 1.5km Ladies Walk, the Arboretum Walk (2km) and this loop.