Oak Park Forest Park

Having such a beautiful public woodland so close to the town center is a pleasure. Oak Park Forest Park is a stunning natural site just outside Carlow town. So it is a very popular destination for walking and educational visits.

The Park is located in Oak Park estate. It is 3 kilometers north of the town of Carlow. The estate was purchased by Irish MP Henry Bruen in 1775. It remained in the family until 1957, being inhabited by Bruen’s son and grandson, both MPs of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Col. Henry Bruen supplied the oak for the great-framed roof of the Cathedral of the Assumption, Carlow from nearby Oak Park.

120 acres (49 ha) of the site are now operated by the Carlow Tourist Office as Oak Park Forest Park.

Park is free to visit. It features 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) of nature trails.

Besides there are color-coded circular walkways of varying lengths with excellent accessible surfaces and easy gradients.

Source: Wikipedia

Oak Park Forest Park is a mature, mixed-species woodland. With a predominance of beech, oak, scots pine, silver fir, larch, and sycamore. Furthermore boasting a rich diversity of wildlife, the lakes and their surrounds provide a habitat for swans and ducks. While the islands shelter many wild and game birds. Extending over four kilometres the walks include Butlers Wood Loop (700 metres), the Lake Path (800 metres), Fox Covert Track (1,100 metres), and Sally Island Trail (1,700 metres).

Oak Park Forest Park is a winner of the Royal Dublin Society Irish Forestry Award in 2013.

A well-kept spot, and there are educational articles about the forest. There is outdoor exercise equipment, outdoor picnic tables, wheelchair-accessible walkways and toilets, a large car park, a bat sanctuary, and a bird-watching area.

Source: Carlow Tourism

A visit here is a relaxing and pleasurable experience and this is one of the must-visit places in County Carlow. It is beautiful all year round.


Below are photos from my last visit there in January 2021.


Blogger. Volunteer. Enthusiast of photography, nature, architecture, and cultural events. Since 2014 living in County Carlow in Ireland.

2 thoughts on “Oak Park Forest Park

  1. Hello,
    I am planning a visit to Carlow in 2025 as part of seeking out my grandmother’s birth site. She was born on the Oak Park Estate in 1900 and immigrated to the US in 1906. I am hoping to find the house she actually lived in way back when. Her name was Francis Jacob and her father, John Jacob was a blacksmith/laborer on the estate. Her mother Elizabeth Jacob was a homemaker. Any information you can provide regarding the old homes on the Oak Park Estate is greatly appreciated. I realize Teagasc operates an ag/forestry research center on the property now. Ironically, I am a forester by university training and am the director of a forestry research center in Oak Ridge, Tennessee operated by The University of Tennessee. Thanks Kevin

  2. My great grand mother was born in Painstown House in the 1870’s Mae Erb nee Jones. I have a photo of the house she was born in and am searching for more information as well. Maybe other photos if available and hope to visit with my family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *