A NUMBER of special walks have been planned for the end of September at the 12 O’Clock Hills, writes Fiona McGarry.
The amenity’s recreational and heritage project committee is planning the walks to mark the seventh anniversary of the official opening of the facility, in September 2014.
The amenity has enjoyed a very successful seven years with continuous development of the trails and the upgrade of heritage sites.
The development of a new car park at Belvoir and the addition of a Fairy Trail have been very well received, according to the committee.
They have also highlighted the “added dimension” offered by the 13k Purple trail, which has increased the length and the number of hills to climb from two to three.
In February funding of just over €18,000 was allocated to the 12 O’Clock Hills project under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) for small scale repairs as well as promotion and marketing.
Picnic tables were among the improved facilities that will be provided at the walking trail, thanks to the funding boost from government and Fáilte Ireland.
In its application to the ORIS fund, the committee outlined how the popularity of the hills amenity has been steadily increasing since 2014.
The funding, which is a ‘Measure 1’ allocation will be used to install hard core on the muddy sections of the trails and especially in the forested areas where access is difficult. Trail furniture including benches and picnic tables will be installed at designated spots along the trails for walkers to take some break time from walking to rest and eat.
The programme of events for this month includes a 20k hike from Oatfield Church car park, and take in all three trail options that are on offer from Belvoir Trailhead car park. This hike is for the fitter and more experienced hill walkers.
“From Belvoir we will be organising all three hikes which are 5k, 8k and 13k and including a Fairyland walk for families,” said a committee spokesperson.
Keep an eye on the Clare Champion for a “promotions page” which will give further details, including a timetable of events, images of the facility and business advertisements. “Business that would like to be associated with the event via a newspaper advert can do so by contacting this number: 087 969 1415.
“In January we published a 2021 Anniversary Calendar and were delighted to be supported by 24 businesses. We wish to thank these business and state that your support then is also inclusive of this event,” the spokesperson added.