Rossmore Forest Park is a beautiful mix of deciduous and coniferous trees and is the former estate of the Rossmore family who were granted these lands in the 17th century. Samuel Lewis, a visitor in 1837, wrote this about it: “A handsome mansion in an Elizabethan style situated in an extensive and beautifully diversified desmane abounding with wild and romantic scenery and commanding some fine distant views.” Unfortunately we have lost the castle however the wonderful views, lakes and walks are still free and open to all.
This lovely expanse of forest and glade is located in close proximity to Monaghan Town and can be accessed by a number of entrances and the Ulster Canal Greenway. Within the Park there are five fishing lakes. The forests are primarily deciduous with numerous fine specimens of oak, ash, spruce, beech, larch, and giant redwood. It also boasts extensive plantings of rhododendron, many of which were planted over a hundred years ago and are a riot of colour in early summer.
What will draw the adventurous hiker and the casual ambler alike are the “Walks,” as they are called, on well maintained paths, several of which are suitable for wheelchair bound visitors. These walks range in length from two to four miles and are well posted. The most scenic, the Priestfield, with its colonnade of yews, is approximately three miles long and leads past the Rossmore family crypt.
Facilities include a spacious car park, clean toilets, picnic tables, litter bins, and a large, weather-protected map of the entire park and its trails. By all means, bring a lunch. Enjoy it on the original smooth finished stones of the castle’s foundation ledge, which still provides that truly commanding view described by Mr. Lewis.