Tourmakeady Woods and Waterfall
Tourmakeady Woods were planted in the 1860’s and were owned by Landlords for much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. One of the well-known Landlords was George Moore and the Woods and village were part of Moore’s estate. George Moore was considered a “good” Landlord who did what he could to support his tenants during famine times. This led to him becoming bankrupt and the Woods were purchased by Thomas Plunkett, Church of Ireland Bishop of Tuam. The last private owner of Tourmakeady Woods was a timber merchant called MacAinsh, who sold the Woods to the Department of Lands in 1958/1959. The Woods are now owned and maintained by Coillte.
The Woods are approximately 48 ha. The Landlords planted forests that were common on their own estates in England, so many of the trees are non-native. In 2000, as part of the “People’s Millennium Forests” celebrating the 21st century, native trees were planted on approximately 33 ha of Tourmakeady Woods. The Woods contain three national trails (Lake, Nature and Loop walks), a large pond/lake, carpark, picnic areas and a spectacular waterfall on the Glensaul river which runs alongside one of the main trails.
In 2017 the local community partnered with Coillte and received a Neighbourhood funding award (Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine). The works involved upgrades and improvements to the existing trail network and installation of new facilities in the wood. One of the main aims was to protect native species of trees and wild-life at home in the woods. In 2020/2021 €30,000 was awarded to Coillte to upgrade access, parking and trails in Tourmakeady Woods.