Millennium Stone Loop
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Glen of Aherlow Fáilte Society, Coach Road, Glen Of Aherlow, Tipperary,
The Glen of Aherlow stretches from the N24 south of Tipperary Town through unspoilt countryside affording some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable. The lush valley of the River Aherlow runs between the Galtee Mountains and the wooded ridge of Slievenamuck. Bounded by the picturesque villages of Galbally and Bansha, the Glen was historically an important pass between Limerick and Tipperary.
The Glen of Aherlow stretches from the N24 south of Tipperary Town through unspoilt countryside affording some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable. The lush valley of the River Aherlow runs between the Galtee Mountains and the wooded ridge of Slievenamuck. Bounded by the picturesque villages of Galbally and Bansha, the Glen was historically an important pass between Limerick and Tipperary. There is a great variety of prehistoric, early Christian and medieval sites within the valley and its hinterland to excite the lovers of archaeology and the seasoned historian. The glen is renowned for the warmth of its welcome and the friendship of its people. This loop is one of a series developed at two trailheads in the glen (Christ the King Statue and Lisvarrinane). This loop travels along Slievenamuck – the Mountain of the Pigs. The ridge is mainly of old red sandstone and was formed over 300million years ago! The Millenium Stone was erected to celebrate the new millennium, and was a joint project between the parishes of Tipperary and Bansha Kilmoyler. The conglomerate stone, weighing in at 13.5 tons, was dug out of a hillside nearby. A mix of stone, sand and ferrous oxide causes it to have a pink hue in the evening sun. Designed by renowned sculptor Jarlath Daly, the stone depicts the Annunciation, Birth, Crucifixion and Resurrection from the life of Christ.
A-B. From the mapboard in the green area climb onto the road and go to the Christ the King statue. Follow the blue arrow and enter the forestry at the barrier. Note that you are also following red arrows which are for the shorter Rock an Thorabh Loop. After 50m you reach a Y-junction where the red loop continues straight – but you veer right and downhill following the blue arrow.
B-C. Continue to follow the red arrows along this forestry track for almost 4km to reach a surfaced road where you turn left. Shortly afterwards you reach the Millennium Stone on your right.
C-D. After leaving the Millennium Stone travel for a short distance and watch closely as the loop turns left and enters forestry again.
D-E. Fine views of County Tipperary (and Tipperary Town) open up along this section of the loop. After nearly 3km you will rejoin the red loop at a junction and turn right.
E-F. Now you begin to ascend and near the highest point watch out for the substantial rock on your right – this is Rock an Thorabh (the rock of the boar!).
F-G. Continue to follow the blue (and red) arrows along the forestry roadway to reach a surfaced road near Stafford O Brien Well. Joining the road, turn left.
G-H. Cross the road and follow downhill for 500m to reach the left bend. Here you veer right onto a green track and into forestry again.
H-A. Following woodland trails, you will rejoin other loops as you return to the trailhead through the Nature Park – a very pleasant experience to finish your walk!