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Red Kite Walk Avoca: Map, Parking + 2024 Info

Red Kite Walk Avoca: Map, Parking + 2024 Info

The Red Kite Loop in Avoca is one of the more popular forest walks in Wicklow.

Known as the garden of Ireland, County Wicklow boasts plenty of breathtaking scenery. From the serenity of the Wicklow Mountains to the sea cliffs and coves of the coastline, there’s always something new to discover. 

Sitting amid this natural wonderland, the Avoca Red Kite Loop takes you on a short but sweet walk around Kilmagig Forest.

Below, you’ll find info on the trail, parking and everything else you need-to-know before you go. Dive on in!

Some Quick Need-to-Knows About the Avoca Red Kite Loop

Although the Red Kite Walk is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Location

The lovely village of Avoca is located in the southeast corner of County Wicklow. It’s not far from the golden sands of Brittas Bay and it’s about a 30-minute drive from Wicklow Town.

2. Parking

You’ll find plenty of parking spots at the large car park opposite St. Mary’s & St. Patrick’s Church in the middle of Avoca village. The car park serves as the trailhead for the walk, and you should see signs pointing you in the right direction.

3. Length + Difficulty

The trail stretches for 2.5 km and typically takes about an hour to complete. It’s ideal for a quick stretch of the legs while taking in some beautiful surroundings. It’s rated moderate, however, with 80 metre’s total ascent. Most of the steep incline is right at the beginning though, and once you’ve tackled that first tough section, it’s pretty easy-going from there on out.

About the Avoca Red Kite Loop

Avoca Red Kite Loop

Photos courtesy Celtic Routes via Fáilte Ireland

Back in 2009, the Golden Eagle Trust set about reintroducing Red Kites into Kilmagig Forest. Nowadays, there are numerous breeding pairs who have made the forest their home.

The Red Kite Walk traverses much of the woodland in which the magnificent birds roam. Along the walk, it’s very common to see them soaring up above.

Besides seeing these amazing creatures, the walk boasts some gorgeous views. The mixed woodland is peaceful yet teeming with life, with many sections overlooking the village of Acova below.

Within the woods, you’ll also find Kilmagig Cemetery which dates back to the 1800s and will keep curious visitors busy as they look over the gravestones and wild plant life that has started to reclaim them.

An Overview of the Avoca Red Kite Loop

Red Kite Loop

Map via Sport Ireland (Click to enlarge)

The Avoca Red Kite Walk is a remarkably well-signed and maintained trail, unlike many of the other hikes in Wicklow.

There’s some conflicting info online about which colour arrows to follow, so make sure to check the info board when you arrive.

Kicking things off

From the car park, we linked to above, face the church and turn left. Continue along the main road for about 100 metres towards the community hall.

Then, follow the arrows and turn right just after the community hall onto a gravel track.

Into the woods

Continue along the gravel track and you’ll soon arrive at a large wooden sign that welcomes you into the woods.

From here, it’s easy enough to follow the arrows around the loop. The first section is a fairly steep but short incline, which can be hard-going on little legs. But, after that, it’s fairly plain sailing.

Look around

As you follow the arrows around the woods, keep your eyes peeled for the magical fairy doors that reveal hidden kingdoms within the rocks and trees.

On the ground, foragers can often seek out mushrooms, while skittering about the woods you can expect to see red squirrels.

Of course, the highlight of the walk is up above you. You might hear the Red Kites before you see them, but they’re not exactly shy.

One of the best places to see them is at the woodland crossroad, where one path leads to the ancient cemetery.

A holy detour

If you want to extend the walk and take in a few more sights, it’s worth leaving the loop at the aforementioned crossroads. Follow the signs that lead you to Kilmagig Cemetery and St. Patrick’s Holy Well.

As you approach the cemetery, the landscape opens up, revealing gorgeous views across the surrounding wheat fields. Above these, Red Kites can often be seen swooping down to catch their lunch.

Within the cemetery, you’ll find the ruins of the ancient chapel, as well as various tombstones and statues. Some believe this ancient graveyard dates back more than 1,000 years!

Wrapping up the walk

If you visited the cemetery, return to the loop the same way you came, and continue to follow the arrows until you eventually arrive back at the entrance to the woods.

Then, retrace your steps back to the village and the church car park. If you’re hungry, the likes of Del’s Bistro and Hendley’s are well worth nipping into!

Things to do after the Avoca Red Kite Walk

One of the beauties of the Red Kite Walk is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Wicklow.

Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Avoca!

1. Avondale Forest Park (15-minute drive)

Avondale Forest Park

Photos by Coillte via Failte Ireland

A visit to Avondale Forest Park is a unique experience. The lush redwood forest surrounding Avondale House is crisscrossed with an array of walking and cycling routes, while the walled garden offers a peaceful retreat. Information boards reveal the history of the area and also explore the wildlife and fauna that calls the forest home. 

2. Brittas Bay Beach (20-minute drive)

Brittas Bay Wicklow

Photos courtesy Celtic Routes via Fáilte Ireland

As a Blue Flag Beach, you can be sure that Brittas Bay boasts excellent facilities. The soft golden sands stretch for about 2 km and are backed by sand dunes, making it ideal for walks. There’s a large car park, plus decent toilets, showers, and a number of food trucks, making for a great day out.

3. Croghan Kinsella (20-minute drive)

Croghan Mountain Wexford

Photos with thanks to @one_more_michael and @ingylehue

Straddling the border of County Wicklow and County Wexford, Croghan Kinsella, or Croghan Mountain stands 606 metres high. There are a number of walks to the summit and across the shoulder of the mountain, each offering spectacular views as they cut through the gorgeous surrounding countryside.

FAQs about the Avoca walk

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Is it tough?’ to ‘Is it worth doing?’.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

How long is Red Kite Walk?

The Red Kite Walk is a moderate, 2.5 km trail that takes around 1-hour to complete, depending on pace.

Where do you park for the Red Kite Loop?

You’ll find plenty of parking spots at the large car park opposite St. Mary’s & St. Patrick’s Church in the middle of Avoca village. The car park serves as the trailhead for the walk, too.

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