Avondale Forest Park is the birthplace of Irish Forestry. The House was built for Samuel Hayes who was responsible for collecting a range of tree species from all over the world and planting them in the Park in the late 1700’s.

The House is an elegant Georgian homestead which was built in 1777 by architect James Wyatt for Samuel Hayes and later became the birth place of Charles Stewart Parnell known as the “Uncrowned King of Ireland”.

The state purchased Avondale in 1904 and its magnificent 505 acre estate is synonymous with the birth of Irish forestry. The fledgling Irish State established experimental plots in Avondale in the early 1900’s along the lines of a continental forest garden with a collection of tree species and shrubs from around the world. The results of these experiments guided tree planting by the state for the subsequent hundred years. It was at Avondale that the early foresters of Ireland were educated and their quarters in the ‘swiss chalet’ building in the park give a glimpse into their student life.

Today, the Forest Park provides a variety of trails and is linked directly into Rathdrum along the Railway Walk – that which Parnell himself took to connect to the train at Rathdrum and onward to the Houses of Parliament in London. The trails meander through open glades and along the vast expanse of the ‘Great Ride and through some majestic stands of Sequoia, Spruce and broadleaves, including some of the worlds greatest tree species.

Avondale Forest Park Is Open All Year Round.

Avondale House & Café Is Closed For The 2017 Season

Only an hour from Dublin
Avondale is situated 1.5 miles south of Rathdrum on the L2149.

Get Directions

Things to do

Don’t miss our hidden gem

Visitors Facilities on site



Forest Park


Heritage Tours

Leisure cycling


Picnic site



Walking trails

Picnic tables with barbeque grids.

Public Toilets.

Car Parking:            400 spaces

Car Park Opens:      7.00am April to September and 8.00pm (October to March)

Car Park Closes:      9.00pm April to September and 5.00pm (October to March)

trail map