Celebrate, explore and get active, with the Kilkenny Trails Festival – hikes, bikes and so much more, from 1st-29th September 2013!

The Kilkenny Trails Festival runs this year from the 1st to the 29th of September, with a jam-packed and exciting programme of events designed to inspire you to get out and about, get active and get exploring the wonderful Kilkenny countryside.


With more than sixty events planned for the month of September, this year’s Kilkenny Trails Festival has something perfect for everyone – for families, groups of friends, solo adventurers, keen cyclists, experienced hikers, absolute beginners and complete newbies, and even the dog!


A collaboration between Trail Kilkenny and Kilkenny Recreation & Sports Partnership, the Kilkenny Trails Festival is a month-long celebration of everything special that Kilkenny has to offer, providing the opportunity to dip in and out of countless activities over the course of September. There are trails and fun for everyone, featuring everything from heritage to harvests, paddling to picnicking, biking to bat-watching, scavenging to scones, and those all the more welcome after a mighty afternoon in the fresh air!


From bat walks along the River Nore, foraging for wild food, an introduction to the history of the city beneath your feet, a chance to meet the gardener and tour the walled gardens at Mount Juliet, to visit master craftsmen in their studios or to start a walking habit on a City Fit Walk, and from the very tip-top of Mount Leinster to the depths of the Dunmore Caves, every aspect of Kilkenny that can be explored will be, during the Kilkenny Trails Festival this September.


Get introduced to orienteering, to earthenware or get re-introduced to cycling, try some Canadian canoeing, a moonlight walk or meeting some very important trees!


Enjoy some of the finest walks around, scenic, challenging, historic, adventurous, along the riverbank through the Nore Valley, along woodland paths, strolling leafy lanes or tackling exhilarating hill climbs.

Cycle through some of the most historic and culturally significant towns of the county, along quiet country roads, laneways and tow paths, visiting medieval monasteries, Anglo-Norman castles, Cistercian churches, 18th century bridges, all through the superbly scenic and heart-lifting surroundings of this gorgeous countryside.


Take part in an amazing activity trail, like the Hike & Bike, where you cycle out, then walk back along the river, giving you a whole new perspective on the countryside.


Pack a picnic and head off to one of the great picnic trail gatherings in Woodstock, Jenkinstown or at the amazing Harvest Picnic, the Grand Finale event of the Kilkenny Trails Festival with an artisan food & craft market and lots of family fun events at Highbank Organic Orchards, from 10a.m. till 6 p.m. on Sunday 29th September.Can/should you mention some of events heritage train, cooking demos etc. here?


Lots of events have been designed specifically with families in mind, with some particularly suited to older children and some that are intended only for accompanied teenagers and adults. For safety reasons, dogs are not allowed at any festival events, except the one specially designed for them – the Dog Walk! Places are limited on most events, and many are free, so do make sure to book early so you don’t miss out. With something for everyone, at every level of fitness and experience, blaze a trail through Kilkenny this September with the Kilkenny Trails Festival!