FOLLOWING the success of winning a Clare Business Excellence Community Award in 2018, the 12 O’Clock Hills walking trails including heritage sites are continuing to grow in popularity.
The growing visitor numbers has motivated the project committee to upgrade its parking options.
In recent months a new car park with capacity for 75 cars has been developed at its Belvoir Trailhead.
The ambitious project is now open to the public and an official opening is being planned for August.
“It has been an expensive development and the committee wish to thank everyone who have made donations to date,” explained 12 O’Clock Hills project chairman, Patsy Neville.
With this in mind, the Kilkishen-based project have a number of events planned for the coming weeks, with funds raised going towards the group’s vital development fund.
On Saturday, June 22, a Summer Solstice walk will take place from the new car park in Belvoir at 10am.
“This will be a guided 12k walk taking in sections of the hills that people would not have walked previously,” said Mr Neville.
On Wednesday, June 26, 12 O’Clock Hills project will host the group’s annual Mountain Run and Walk from the Snaty Trailhead.
The walk gets underway at 7.30pm followed by the run at 8pm and runners are reminded that all participating in this event must have paid their yearly registration fee via https://www.imra.ie/events/view/id/1776.
Walkers can pay the €5 entry fee on the night.
On Saturday, July 6, the project’s Great East Clare Hill Challenge will get underway, the third year of the “very popular” initiative.
“This is a strenuous 30k hike starting from the Two Mile Gate Killaloe up Moylussa and across the Sliabh Bearna hills to Broadford village.
“Then from there once again across the hills to Belvoir near Kilkishen via the 12 O’Clock Hills.
“There is also an option of a shorter 14k walk from Broadford. Early registration is advisable to avail of “early bird” rates of €20 for the 30k walk and €10 for the 14k walk,” added Patsy Neville.
The 12’Clock Hills project committee have also announced details of the group’s successful community grant funding from St Francis Credit Union to the tune of €4,000.
The funding is to be set aside for the development of a Fairy Woodland facility at the Hill Knockanuarha and is expected to get underway in the coming months.