Saturday, September 23, 2017

West Sligo Walking Festival and Lough Easkey Loop Walk Launch

Lough Easkey Loop Walk Launch

West Sligo was alive with the foot steps of walkers over the weekend as the West Sligo Walking Festival got underway. Spirits were high as hundreds of walkers donned their boots and hit for the trails to participate in the festival. On Friday, local schoolchildren enjoyed a four kilometre walk to the Valley of Diamonds in Enniscrone while learning about the flora in the area.

Saturday morning saw the launch of the Lough Easkey loop walk by Michael Quigley at the trail head on the shores of the lake. The loop walk is a stunning nature trail which crosses blanket bog with a combination of tracks, laneways and minor roads. Michael Quigley acknowledged the central role played by Failte Ireland, Sligo LEADER Partnership Rural Social Scheme, The Ox Mountain Development Group, The Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs and Sligo County Council in the development of the loop walk and he acknowledged the hard work completed by the local community.

Rural Recreation Officer Deirdre Kennedy thanked the Rural Social Scheme staff for all their hard work in getting the trail up to standard and explained that without the invaluable support from the local farmers none of it would have been possible.The Walks Scheme which is funded by the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs is been offered to farmers whose land the walk traverses. Deirdre explained that it was a great example of what could be acheived when all parties work together.

Walking enthusiasts were treated to a local historian speaking about the heritage, history and folklore of the area on Saturday evening while undertaking the Enniscrone Castlefield Walk. On Saturday night walking boots were swapped for waltzing shoes, as a wonderful waltzing competition took place in the Diamond Coast Hotel. Despite the cooler temperatures on Sunday local walkers headed off for a brisk walk along the stunning Enniscrone beach and pier.

Overall the weekend was a huge success. The walking trails are open all year round for everyone to enjoy. If you would like further information on these or other walks in County Sligo please contact Deirdre Kennedy Rural Recreation Officer with Sligo LEADER Partnership on 071 9141138.