Ballincollig has always been a favourite place for people to walk, cycle and run. Ballincollig Tidy Towns has now created easily accessible walking routes that encompass the town’s vast history. The following is an introduction to three Walking Routes.
THE ORIEL HOUSE WALKING ROUTE
The Walking Route starts and finishes at the front of the Oriel House Hotel. Oriel House is steeped in history, originally being the home of Thomas Tobin who was the Managing Director of The Royal Gunpowder Mills.
This Walking Route is initially just over a 4km walk. However, there are two variations to the return leg one giving a 4.4km walk and the other, if you are feeling energetic, a 6km walk.
The main route goes from the Oriel House along Main Street past the Eastgate and Colaiste Choilm to the Poulavone Roundabout where there is a rest seat, should you wish to have a breather. On the return one option is to walk along Old Fort Road and up to Muskerry Estate Junction then back to Oriel House. The longer option is to make your way back along the old Fort Road and down Community Drive past Ballincollig Community School and Church of Christ Our Light up Innishmore turning left and back to the Oriel House.
To make this walk more pleasant there are rest areas at 1km, 2.1km, 3.2km and 4.1km.
THE PIKE CORNER WALKING ROUTE
This Walking Route is 2.6km, not a bother for some. It starts and finishes at the bottom of Station Road outside the Old Ulster Bank Office or Pike Corner. In 1812 there was a Toll Road from Cork to Tralee that passed through Ballincollig. A Tollgate and Toll Collection House were situated at the Junction of Main Street and Station Road. The barrier across the road was a Toll Booth which was called a Turnpike. In 1833 the toll system on the road was abolished and the Tollgate removed. The memory of the Turnpike survives even today and is called Pike Corner.
The route goes up Station Road passing the Church of St. Mary & St. John to Station Cross. Then it turns left along the back road onto Leo Murphy Road or the Link Road as it is known locally passing the Fairy Fort then back along Main Street to Pike Corner.
There are two rest areas on the route and it is Buggy and Wheelchair friendly.
THE BALLINCOLLIG CASTLE WALKING ROUTE
This loop walk is 3.5km long. It starts and finishes at the Walks Information Map just outside The White Horse Bar on the western side of Ballincollig.
The walk goes west along the Main Road through Coolroe Meadows and Greenfields turning left down Killumney Road and again left onto Barry’s Road then finally left back to The White Horse.
There are two rest areas at 1.25km and 2.5k. The walk is Wheelchair/Buggy friendly and there are some slight inclines.
A lovely walk, you pass several pieces of heritage, for instance the Lime Kiln at Coolroe. Ballincollig Castle can be seen when walking on the Killumney Road.