Rossacroo Wood - Kilgarvan *

Rossacroo derives its name from the old Irish name Ros a chro which means the wood of cro or cattle hut. This suggests that the area has been under forest for quite a long time. The 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map (1841-1846) shows part of the site covered by light woodland at this time (Garrett 2001), indicating a history of woodland cover over at least parts of the site. This property comprises 810 ha. with the Loo river and valley running north east through the middle of it. The wooded slopes come right down to the river from both sides. This was mainly native Sessile oak which became depleted in the early part of the 20th century. Restocking with mainly conifers took place in the 1940's and 50's.The wood now carries a mixture of broadleaves and conifers with Sitka spruce being the dominant species. As well as the Loo river and the R569 road which dissects the valley, the old railway line from Kenmare to Headford junction ran right through the wood parallel to the river. This line is still in existence and makes for an enchanting walk through oak, birch and hazel scrub. The line which operated from 1891 closed in 1959. The focal point of Rossacroo is the Millennium forest site. This is an area of 40 ha. with Sessile oak in the valley bottom and lower slopes and a mixture of Oak and Scots pine, Sitka spruce and Lodgepole pine on the upper reaches. The long term vision here is to convert the entire area to Oak woodland through removal of the conifers and natural regeneration of the Oaks. There are 3 plots of millennium trees, Oak, Alder and Birch where one can go and visit their tree. Across the road from the millennium forest is another car park and picnic facilities. The largest section of the forest is on this the northern side of the valley. There are 15 km of forest road in this block to whet the appetite of the walking enthusiast. As one ascends the hill vantage points are to be found here and there which open up the panorama of the valley below. For the really adventurous Crohane lake is to be found on the most northerly tip of the forest. A walk to this lake is not for the faint hearted and proper clothing and footwear is advised . The fauna of the area includes an expanding population of Sika deer which does untold damage to young trees, in particular to broadleaves. Our native Red deer are also to be found here. All of the regular forest inhabitants are to be found in Rossacroo such as foxes, badgers, hares, rabbits and a diverse population of birds.


Located 10 Km north east of Kilgarvan village on the N569 to Killarney. From Killarney travel east on the N22 for 18 km, turn right at Poulgorm bridge and travel on the R569 for 6 km to the Millennium forest site. From Kenmare travel north east on the R569 through Kilgarvan and on to the car park on the right. This is a busy road in recent times and extreme care is advised entering and exiting the parking area and when crossing the road.


Ordnance Survey Ireland Discovery Series: Number 79

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* Text; courtesy of Coillte Outdoors.


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