Promoting the development of the park as a multi-activity woodland park is an act of preserving the legacy of the former ‘leisure park’. The strategic plans and current work of this ‘young park’ are focussed on ensuring the park can continue its trajectory of providing amenities for locals, students and families. The restoration of the bridges, along with the recent installation of the pit head wheel, highlights the rich cultural and industrial heritage of the Castlecomer Discovery Park. This is what gives the park its unique identity and promotes a sense of pride amongst locals and their families. It is also an example of what can be achieved with vision and commitment to restore the park to its former glory when support is made possible from the various bodies and agencies.
This ‘young park’ is continually evolving. Current work includes plans for the development of ‘Off- Road Cycling Community Trails’ through the upgrading of the existing woodland trails; a 3rd bridge which needs restoring, the former boat house which could again be brought to life… these cultural features all contribute to the enjoyment and knowledge of locals, visitors and students alike and – as locals say – ‘puts ‘Comer on the map’, along with providing local employment and promoting tourism.
In 2013 four new educational modules were added to our programmes, Weather & Climate, Exploring Tourism & Environment and the extremely popular Maths & Numeracy Trail, and Geology & Rocks. Over the last number of months development of our new education space was completed, enabling us to accommodate the growing popularity of our programmes
In the 80 acre woodland, we launched 3 new permanent orienteering trails, The orienteering maps were kindly designed and produced by cartographer Pat Healy in association with the Irish Orienteering Association and Coillte. While developments in the woodlands continue with the recent launch of our beautifully restored 17th century stone bridge which lies on one of our picturesque woodland trails. We have also recently introduced water activities, where you can sit back and relax, or work up an appetite on our pedal boats and Canadian canoes on one of our picturesque lakes within the 80-acre woodland.
Castlecomer Discovery Park runs various seasonal events throughout the year, which you can read more about in our seasonal events section. There is our family trails at Halloween and Easter, our Christmas Experience, which includes a Santa Train ride through the woodlands, which has proved to be extremely popular in recent years, and plans are under way to increase the capacity and scope of the event even further this year, watch this space.