Delighted to see Carlow County Council have signposted one of my routes, ‘The Hidden Sky Road’ which features in my book ‘Cycling South Leinster, Great Road Routes’.
Its a beautiful route to complete on a summers evening at just 37kms length featuring a small climb with stunning views across County Carlow.
The route begins in Borris, passing alongside the Mountain River and out of the village under the Viaduct, heading towards Rathanna.
Borris Viaduct with Mary
Wouldn’t it make a great section of a Greenway?
The Mountain River
The Mountain River is my favourite river in the County; wild with contrasting colours of brown, gold, yellow and green. Crystal clear water.
Quiet roads with lots of great vantage points to see the Blackstairs Mountains and Mount Leinster as you head east. There are lots of little known gems to stop off and and explore along the way.
With a little searching there are a couple of examples of rock art on the route (you will need permission to access) at Spahill and Coolasnaughta.
Spahill Rock Art
Coolasnaughta Rock Art
Carlow has a brilliant network of local roads that are virtually traffic free and ideal for cycling
Quiet Country Lanes near Rathanna
Views on The Hidden Sky Road
There are lots of heritage sites dotted across the county and some worth visiting close to the route not far from Tomduff Cross are
The White Church, Killoughternane
St Forthcern’s Well
But the best views are from on high along The Hidden Sky Road
The Hidden Sky Road
View from The Hidden Sky Road
Blackstairs Horses in the Morning Mist
Wild horses Blackstairs
The Adelaide Memorial Church of Christ The Redeemer in Myshall is an architectural masterpiece. Worth a visit on its own. There’s a great love story about its construction which was built to commemorate the saughter oand wife of a visiting English man. His daughter had been thrown from a horse while riding and died from the fall. The full story can be read in the Myshall and Drumphea Parish website
Adelaide Church Myshall
Ballynasillogue Banshee Stone is a little off the trail but worth checking out. Incidentally I would advise bringing a good map along with you on any of these routes; the best map by far is actually produced in Carlow by East West Mapping of Clonegal – ‘Blackstairs, Mount Leinster & The Barrow Valley at 1: 25,000 scale, it is full of so much detail and local knowledge.
It may be just a small corner of the county but as you can see there’s plenty to look out for and it might take a few trips to visit them all.
Finish up back in Old World Borris and a visit to two of Carlow’s iconic pubs
Joyce’s Bar Borris
O Sheas Borris