Two popular walking trails in Co Wexford are set to be upgraded as part of an Irish Government outdoor recreation initiative that aims to improve trails, cycling routes, and forests across the country. 

Wexford County Council has received €396,000 to develop the two routes, Ireland's Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphries recently announced.

The funding allows for the development of a new 13km walking trail along the existing Coillte wood at Blackstairs Mountain Trail and will also provide for new parking lots at either end of the trail. 

Meanwhile, a 700-meter roadside path will be built along the Tara Hill to Ballymoney trail in North Wexford. 

Each route will receive funding of €198,000. 

The Irish Government is investing €16.1 million in 69 different outdoor recreational spaces, including walking trails, cycling routes, greenways, blueways, and forest parks. 

Wexford TD James Browne, a Minister of State at the Department of Justice, welcomed the investment in the two trails in Co Wexford, stating that the redevelopment will benefit locals and tourists alike. 

"County Wexford has some wonderful outdoor recreational trails and these measures will add to our county’s walking trails, which appeal to locals and tourists alike.

"I commend Wexford Walking Trails and Wexford County Council for their work in developing our county’s outdoor infrastructure," Browne told the Gorey Guardian. 

Senator Malcolm Byrne also welcomed the investment, describing it as "money well spent."

"There has been tremendous work done developing trails around the country and I particularly know the beautiful Tara Hill / Ballymoney area," Byrne told the Gorey Guardian in a statement.

"This is money well spent and will enhance the attractiveness of the area for visitors as well as for locals walking. Well done to the community groups on their work in developing these projects." 

The Government investment will help to establish new walking trails across the country, while also supporting outdoor sports such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and swimming. 

"Our beautiful outdoors have never been more available to us than today. With the summer months upon us, now is the time to enjoy the wonderful amenities right on our doorstep," Humphries said at the launch of the initiative.