Clara Bog and Mongan Bog are two of the few large, raised, midland bogs remaining substantially intact. They are located in County Offaly. Each bog has a wide range of vegetation types and habitats and classic hummock and hallow surfaces.
Clara Bog and Mongan Bog are located in County Offaly. Clara Bog is designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a statutory nature reserve, established in 1987. It covers approximately 460ha and is situated about 2km southeast of Clara town. The Visitor Centre for Clara Bog is co-located at the library in Clara. Access to the bog is along the Clara-Rahan road (New Road). There is a car park on the left-hand side, and opposite, a trackway into the bog.
Visitors are recommended to stay on the trackway provided. To the east along the N80 there is another guided walk which takes in the eskers and Doory Wood.
Clara Bog is a naturally wet environment with many concealed dangers. Stay on the boardwalk. As with any outdoor activity, dress appropriately, be prepared for bad weather, and make sure someone knows your return plans. Please leave Clara Bog exactly as you would wish to find it. The reserve is home to many protected wildlife species. It is an offence to disturb these wild plants and animals.
Mongan Bog is an excellent example of a midland raised bog. It is a valuable addition to the growing network of peatland reserves. The bog is believed to be 9,000 years old and has formed in a basin between two east-west trending eskers. Typical midland raised bog vegetation exists, with sphagnum bog moss species that cause bog growth found in the wetter area to the centre of the bog. Mongan Bog has a notable lichen community due to the lack of burning on the high bog in the recent past.
There are a good number of wintering snipe to be found, however, Greenland white-fronted geese no longer use this bog to the extent that they did in the past. Hen harriers occasionally hunt over the site in winter.
Access to Mongan Bog is from the Clonmacnoise-Ballinahown road [R444]. Park at the Bord na Móna rail underpass. Panoramic views of the bog may be seen from the Pilgrim's Road to the north of the bog.