Rural Recreation Programme

County Wicklow Partnership is one of 12 local development companies in the country to have secured the services of a Rural Recreation Officer (RRO). The RRO works with communities, landowners, local and national agencies to support the development, maintenance and promotion of outdoor recreation based opportunities in the County of Wicklow. The programme is provided through funding from the Department Rural and Community Development, and Fáilte Ireland.


Aims of the Recreation Programme

  • To implement the Walks Scheme in County Wicklow
  • To assist the implementation of the National Countryside Recreation Strategy
  • To coordinate and oversee the management and enhancement of existing trails in the county
  • To assist local communities developing and maintaining new trails
  • To assist in the marketing and promotion of trails in the county
  • To encourage the responsible use of the countryside
  • To assist with information to trail users, landholders, and all other interests in outdoor recreation in County Wicklow


Walks Scheme

County Wicklow Partnership administer the Walks Scheme in the region on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development.

The scheme aims to enhance and maintain key walking trails including National Waymarked Ways, Looped Walking Routes and Heritage Routes by providing support to landholders whose land they traverse. The Walks Scheme is aimed at private landowners who will be paid to carry out a specified and agreed maintenance plan for approved walking routes through their lands (5-year contracts).

Qualifying trails will:

  • Be available to the public,
  • Be of a suitable standard to be included in Sport Ireland’s trail register, and
  • Have all private landowners along the entire route willing to allow access to the public and to join scheme.

Applicant groups will also be required to outline a health & wellbeing, tourism or economic case for the inclusion of the trail under the scheme.

Trails that do not have all of the necessary elements in place at the time of application will not be considered.

Interested groups should make contact with the Rural Recreation Officer to discuss how to join the scheme.


Trail Developments

All trail developments that traverse privately owned land, are based on permissive access. This means that developments take place with kind permission of the landholders, to allow access to the public. Our Rural Recreation Officer liaises with landholders and all other stakeholders to ensure that trails are developed in line with best practice, complying with all legislation and giving due regard to consultation with all relevant interest groups.

CWP have been involved in establishing, upgrading and maintaining a variety of trails in Wicklow including the Tinahely Loops, St Kevin’s Way, Sean Lenihan Way & Avonmore Way, to mention a few.

The Rural Recreation Officer also works with Wicklow County Council as an advisor for the development of recreation infrastructure projects throughout the County.   As a member of the Wicklow Outdoor Recreation Committee, the RRO works proactively to further develop Wicklow as Irelands Adventure Capital.


If you have are thinking of developing a route in your local area, or have any questions regarding trail development in Wicklow, please contact our Rural Recreation Officer, details at the bottom of the page.


Trails Passport

County Wicklow Partnership are delighted to launch the Wicklow Trails Passport.  This pilot project, developed using funds from Healthy Ireland, will encourage families located in the Rathdrum area to get out and discover trails in their local community.


The goal of this project will be to encourage families to discover and use walking trails in their local community for recreational purposes, while rewarding participates with novel stamps to collect on each trail.  Young people will be encouraged to visit the five trails with their families and friends during the spring of 2019 to seek out and stamp their own Wicklow Trails Passport.  Along with a description of these trails, the Passport will include heritage information for the area, suggestions on what to wear when walking and details about the Leave No Trace principals.  It is hoped that this project will grow in the years to come, to include trails from all over the county.

The Wicklow Trails Passport stamps will be on location in the Rathdrum area for the month of February.  Visitors to the area can join in the fun by printing their own copy of the passport, located at this link ….Wicklow Trails Passport