The Regional Park has ample free parking, several playing pitches, a skate park, river walks, numerous picnic areas, woodland trails, permanent orienteering course & paved walkways as well as being a National Monument status site.
The Regional Park, Ballincollig is located on the South bank of the River Lee and much of it lies on the river’s floodplain. Gunpowder was manufactured there from the 18th century to the start of the 20th Century. From here it was transported to Cork City and the Port of Cork for supply to the British Armed Forces worldwide. The Regional Park itself comprises the now defunct Gunpowder Mills complex and the networks of sluices and canals installed in the grounds and used in the manufacturing process still remain today along with most of the original buildings. In more recent times, ownership of the land transferred from The Department of Defence to Cork County Council.
The location of the Park on a floodplain on the banks of the River Lee and its internal watercourses mean that wet woodlands and wet habitats are a feature of the park and form an important part of its natural character. Just as the River Lee was integral to the operation of the Gunpowder Mills, today the river is as important to the surrounding flora and fauna and indeed to park users. The Park and its surrounds form part of the Lee Valley and constitute a flyway and migration route for birds, bats, other mammals and a relatively unspoilt habitat for a variety of plants, trees and insects. Other natural habitats throughout the park include woodland, scrub, and marginal grassland and the natural appearance of these systems changes markedly throughout the year.
For many park users it is the natural character of the park that forms their attraction to it. In an increasingly urbanised setting, the Park is a means of escape to the ‘countryside’ without having to travel far. Walkers, joggers, orienteering groups, and dog walkers are frequent visitors here and are drawn by nothing more that the natural landscape of the park.
January & February open daily 9am – 5pm
March & October open daily 9am – 6pm
April, May & September open daily 9am – 8pm
June, July & August open daily 9am – 9pm
November & December open daily 9am – 5pm
Link for free trails maps http://www.corkcoco.ie/co/pdf/
Last updated: 2015-01-23