Forest medicine is a Japanese idea of how being out in nature has healing effects on the body. This is something I take pretty seriously and one hidden gem in Galway is perfect for a bit of nature time – Rosscahill Woods.
Where is Rosscahill woods
Rosscahill woods is about halfway between Moycullen and Oughterard, ~20km North West of Galway City. It takes about 30 minutes to drive from the city on a good traffic day. Located in a quiet area, it surrounds Ross Lake. Pretty perfect spot for a nice walk in the woods.
You can access the woods by taking a turn off the main N59 Clifden road. Although the sign doesn’t have Rosscahill woods on it, it’s sign posted for “Brigit’s Garden”. Just a short distance up this road you will come to a gap and the woods is marked on a brown post. There’s a small parking area too although because it’s quiet, I’ve never seen more than 3 cars parked.
Paths in Rosscahill Woods
Once parked, there is a main path which will take you through the woods to a loop at the end. There’s also some side paths that will take you to various parts of the forest. One time, Eoghan and I took a right just inside the woods and were brought down a lovely overgrown grass path. This will bring you out further up the woods. No matter what way you go, you will eventually see the trees open out to show beautiful views of Ross Lake.
Numerous mountain bike trails can also be found, meandering their way around the wood. You can find a map and a bit more about that here.
This walk is not demanding. Howeverrr, the path can get pretty wet and mucky in places – making it slightly slippy. After the many storms lately, me and Eoghan took a visit and the lake had grown and expanded into the woods. The paths had become mushy and mucky. So be wary if there has been a lot of rain.
The rain is never far away so have a waterproof jacket and good walking boots.
The woods is home to the lesser horseshoe bat, one of the smallest mammals in the country. Apparently there are deer in the woods too although I have never been lucky enough to spot one.
The wood is mainly Spruce and Larch and unfortunately there are clear patches where trees have been cut. In some places these have been replanted. In other parts the area appears to have been left to revive itself.
I really enjoy walking in Rosscahill woods and do so as often as I can. It’s a pretty quite area, only really known to locals meaning it’s a really peaceful place for a stroll.