The last twenty years has brought significant development to Ballincollig, transforming the redundant Military Barracks into a modern Town Centre Development and providing a mix of residential and commercial units to serve the growing population. In response Cork County Council set about developing the Regional Park in Ballincollig, an area of circa 140 acres.
The site itself is rich in history having accommodated a Gunpowder Mills from the 18th century to the start of the 20th century. The Park aims to link people, Community and Nature. It has developed in recent years to create a regional recreational facility with the capacity to serve local, regional and visitor needs. The guiding principle throughout has been to maximize the value of the Regional Park as an amenity while maintaining its historical and natural integrity. The Council has engaged with Ballincollig Tidy Towns to ensure community involvement in the development. Local rugby, soccer and GAA Clubs are all facilitated through renting of pitches and leasing of land. The Council allows groups to host events in the park, free of charge, and these have varied from a concert, to Club, School and Company organised walks/runs, Charity fund raising events, etc.
In 2018 the main entrance to the Park registered 349,895 pedestrians and 16,268 cyclists entering the park. The variety of facilities within the park is as broad as the park itself, including:
- Community Allotments Scheme
- Playground, Multi Use Games Area, Skatepark and Tone Zone equipment
- Way-marked trails
- Riverside picnic area
- Wildflower meadow and Biodiversity initiatives
- Permanent Orienteering Course for use by Clubs, Schools, Park Run Ireland
- Tarred surface paths including bridge works to accommodate persons with limited mobility access, in particular to the nearby Community Nursing Home
- Rustic trails, Fairy trail – developed in conjunction with Tidy Towns Group
Regional Park Ballincollig, Cork