Updated: Jul 19, 2021
The Vale of Clara Nature Reserve is situated 23km from Arklow Town and is one of the most scenic and serene locations in all of Wicklow - 550 acres of oak-wood cover the reserve, which is one of the largest stands of native hardwoods in the country. The area has been at least partially under woodland since the Ice Age.
The reserve is home to a wealth of woodland birdlife including Long-eared Owls, Jays, Treecreepers, Crossbills, and the Great Spotted Woodpecker. The forest is especially beautiful in the autumn when the leaves are changing colour.
On your way to the trailhead, you will pass the picturesque Clara Vale Church and bridge – a favourite spot for photographers. There are two trailheads to Clara Vale – the first one you reach is the starting point for all three sign-posted loop walks within the Nature Reserve. Each has its own colour-coded signage - 2km, 5.6km and 9.5km. If the parking area is busy you can continue up the hill for about 200m where you’ll find a second trail head for the 5.6km and 9.5km looped walks.
Parking: off the road at the trailhead.
Not suited to wheelchair users.
Robust buggies will cope with this trail.