Reasons to visit John F Kennedy Arboretum
JOHN F KENNEDY Arboretum is a pleasure to visit all year round. There are sign-posted trails throughout and group guided tours are available from Easter to the end of October, but it is advisable to book in advance
Each season brings its own attractions to the Arboretum – the freshness of spring with new growth, followed by a blaze of colour from the five hectares of rhododendrons and azaleas, to the drifts of bluebells in the woodlands. Following the fullness of summer growth, there is spectacular autumn colour, one of the highlights being the Japanese maples.
The quiet winter provides a contrast between deciduous and evergreen species. The striking bark of the eucalyptus, birches and dogwood is all the more noticeable then. Spectacular views can be had from the Arboretum, which rises from 36m above sea level to 271m at the summit of Slieve Coillte. Half of its 252 hectares area is devoted to the Plant collection, growing in the parkland of the lower elevations. 200 forest plots of different species, spread across the higher slopes. The summit provides panoramic views over parts of six counties
A superb picnic area, which also features a tea-room / shop, and play unit, will be particularly appealing to families. Children will be able to play and eat in a safe and clean environment. A miniature railway is also a major attraction at the Arboretum, as is a lake with its many fish and ducks
The arboretum is one of 90 heritage sites throughout the country. To book, phone 051 388171.