Our journey began early in morning, when we boarded the 8 a.m. train from Dublin to Wexford. We arrived two and a half hours later and went on a walking tour of the town before beginning our hike. Most shops were closed on a Saturday morning, but there was a little morning market in the center of town! We joined Three Rocks Trail from Ferrycarrig, going towards Barntown, after visiting the market. This route was fascinating since it chronicles the bravery of Wexford soldiers during the 1798 Rebellion.
1) Ferrycarrig Bridge: We walked from town to the bridge, but you could take the bus and cut your time, going from a 50-minute walk to a 30-minute bus ride and a shorter walk. On weekends, buses in this part of town are infrequent, so walking may be the best alternative.
What is the importance of Ferrycarrig Bridge?
It was used by the Rebels to bridge the river on their way from Vinegar Hill to Three Rocks in 1798. The picture above is taken from Roche's Tower House. During the 1400s and 1500s, it provided security to the trade and travel between Enniscorthy and Wexford Town. Across the house is Round Tower Monument which is featured in the picture above. Most people are surprised to learn that the tower was actually built 59 years later as a memorial to the Wexford soldiers who died in the Crimean War.
2) Trail from Wexford town
Along this portion of trail are plaques that explain the significance of each point. It follows mainroads and backroads but eventually brings you to one of the entrances of Forth Mountain:
This trailhead leads directly to Carrigfoyle/Windgap Quarry, which is around the trail's midpoint. Since the beginning of the Ukrainian conflict, the flag of Ukraine and the Irish flag has been a prominent symbol on government maintained sites. The rock memorial says BATTLE OF THE THREE ROCKS | 30 MAY 1798 | UNITED IRISHMEN | (writing in Gaelic) | "THE THREE ROCKS GROUP" | 1998
This is one of the most important battle sites of the 1798 Rebellion. General Thomas Cloney, commanding a rebel force, defeated the Meath Militia on route from Duncannon to defend Wexford Town, on the 30th of May 1798.
Following the trail, we were met with signs pointing towards Three Rocks Trail and Carrigfoyle lake:
These fun signs were very helpful and can also be seen when walking through the mainroads and backroads, so keep an eye out for them!
3) Carrigfoyle lake
Long after the war, between the early 1900s through 1984, this part of the trail was extensively quarried. The excavated pit was filled with water, creating a beautful, clear, lake that is now encircled by trees. Taking a rest here before to head back to town, we sat in silence just admiring the view!
What are the Three Rocks?
Carrigfoyle Rock (Cliff Rock)
Carrigshinna Rock (Rock of the Fox)
My Reccomendation: This trail hike from town is incredibly gratifying because it conveys the story of historic events while also being tough due to the incline at parts. I don't believe you can walk the full path in a day unless you taxi straight to Forth Mountain's entrance and bypass some of the historical trail.