Slieve Bawn Park and Wind Farm
Slieve Bawn (Sliabh Bághna) is a hill with a recreational park and wind farm in Roscommon, just outside Strokestown and near the Longford border. The park has multiple trails to choose from of various lengths and difficulties. All throughout the park you will pass by, and have epic views of windmills in the distance. A Slieve Bawn Walk is great for a Sunday day out and there is beautiful scenery all across the trails.
How to get to Slieve Bawn? Slieve Bawn Walking Trails
Slieve Bawn cark park is 7.3 km southeast of Strokestown, Co. Roscommon. The development is located in Doughill forest on the Sliabh Bawn mountain. It is also a 30-minute drive from Longford and a 22-minute drive from Roscommon town.
The park is a 5-minute drive off the N5 between Stokestown and Tarmonbarry, but you can also get to it off the N63 between Lanesborough and Roscommon.
Use google maps to find the exact location and use the map below as a guide.
Slieve Bawn Map
Slieve Bawn Trails – Slieve Bawn Walk
The park has 6 trails that snake around the hill, windmills and through Doughill Forest. They are looped walks that vary in distance and difficulty.
Heritage Trail (brown trail) – 4.2 km – 1 hour 15 minutes
This trail is roughly 1 hour 15 minutes and brings you through the history of the mountain. Starting at the main car park, the trail passes an old church ruin, Mass rock, Monastry trail and the Holy Year Cross.
In terms of trees, you will see water tolerant species such as alder and willow along the wet areas of the forest. The land has a number of wild herb and shrub species including fern, wood sorrel, soft rush and long heather.
Monastery Tail (blue trail) – 2.7 km – 1 hour
The blue trail is roughly an hour-long depending on fitness and is a monastic trail that runs across the mountain between the Augustinian Abbey’s of Lisonuffy on the west and Cloontuskert on the east. The trail starts beside turbine 20 in the townland of Ballyduffy with a moderate climb onto an existing forest road where you will then exit the mountain at Tullyvarran.
This is one of the non-looped trails
Trim Trail (green trail) – 2.9 km – Outdoor Gym Trail – 45 minutes minimum
This trail is essentially an outdoor gym with fitness equipment dotted the whole way along. It takes about 45 minutes to walk just the trail, but please allow extra time to use the 12 outdoor fitness stations if you want to complete the fitness challenge.
The loop commences at turbine 20 which is on the entrance road and runs south along the forest road before turning east at Lackan and onto a specially constructed track uphill, where there is a challenging 70 metre incline. On reaching the summit the terrain levels out.
Yellow Loop Walk 6.5 km – 1 hour 50 minutes
This looped trail takes about 1 hour 50 minues. You’ll pass by 3 turbines up close (I’d imagine kids would absolutely love this!) and the Holy Year Cross, where you’ll have fantastic views down the mountain.
The trail starts at the main car park on quite a steep uphill track (I had to take multiple catch-your-breath breaks!!) to the forest road which leads to to the Holy Year Cross located at the second-highest point on the mountain (254m). The trail continues on a loop from a crossroads close to the mast and south on a new track towards the forest road leading to the Summit location. The highest point of the mountain (262m) is close to turbine 1.
Orange Loop Walk 3.9 km – 1 hour 10 minutes
This 1 hour 10-minute long walk starts at the main car park. You’ll go through the forest and get close to 4 wind turbines. The walk is mainly on forest roads, with sections of a new trail shared with the equestrian route.
Equestrian Trail (pink trail)
A trail for all the horsey people! This trail starts near turbine 14 at Kilmacanannerny and continues south on a specially constructed trail which includes a bark mulch finish as far as turbine 13. The trail continues to the south of the mountain on the forest road and includes two off-road cantering loops close to turbines 11 and 18.
Amenities at Slieve Bawn Park
- There is parking available
- Picnic benches
Ruins or things to note
There are two viewpoints, one on each peak – The highest is 262m high, and the second is at the Holy Year Cross at 254m.
- Holy Cross on the Slieve Bawn Walk
- Church Ruins
- Mass Rock
How long does it take to climb Sliabh Bawn? There are various trails each taking different time frames. However, the shortest is 45 minutes up to 1 hour 50 minutes.
How many wind turbines does Sliabh Bawn have? The wind farm has 20 turbines and a substation.
Sliabh Bawn Mountain
The mountain is made up of two main peaks, the highest being 262m high. The second peak is 254m high and is the location of the Holy Year Cross.
It is the third highest point in County Roscommon.
Sliabh Bawn Wind Farm
Sliabh Bawn Wind Farm cark park is 7.3 km southeast of Strokestown, Co. Roscommon. The development is located in Doughill forest on Sliabh Bawn mountain.
Sliabh Bawn Wind Farm is a project involving Coillte, Bord na Móna and Greencoat Renewables PLC. Planning began in 2008 and I visited for the first time in 2018, so it opened between 2017 and then!
The wind farm has 20 turbines and a substation.
The Sliabh Bawn Wind Farm produces clean electricity for homes, farms, hospitals, schools and businesses in Ireland and has an export capacity of 58 Megawatts (MW) which will supply the equivalent of approximately 37,700 households per annum.
Disadvantages to the Wind Farm and how they have been handled
Noise and Shadow
Better technology now means quieter turbines with less noise. As part of the environmental studies completed for the project, noise levels were modeled and assessed from multiple different locations around the site under different conditions to make sure the noise didn’t go above limits.
Similarly, shadow flicker was also studied to make sure it remained within the limits set out in the planning permission.
Benefits of Sliabh Bawn Wind Farm
The Wind Farm provides clean renewable energy as well as a fantastic Recreational park for families to enjoy! Definitely outweighs any negatives if you ask me.
These amenities were developed as part of the Sliabh Bawn wind farm and represent a €500K investment by Sliabh Bawn Power a joint venture between Coillte and Bord na Mona.
For something similar, what about the Galway Wind Way?