U14 Trip to Wildlands

Set on 20 acres of forestry and woodlands beside a lake, Wildlands offers visitors a chance to try a range of high-octane activities to get their adrenaline flowing. Catering for all ages, it’s proving hugely popular since it opened in July. Siblings Faye and David Bohan tell STEPHEN CORRIGAN how this family enterprise evolved and about their ambitions for its future.

In 2018, when the Bohans broke ground on what they hope will one day be Ireland’s leading adventure park, they could hardly have imagined they would be opening its gates for the first time in the midst of a global pandemic.

But such were the times they found themselves in when, in July, brother-and-sister team David and Faye Bohan welcomed the first visitors to Wildlands in Moycullen.

Set on 20 acres of green fields, forestry and on the banks of the picturesque Ballyquirke Lake, Wildlands is proving a huge hit with locals and visitors alike. People have been booking in their droves to try out this new adventure centre, unlike any other in Ireland.

With an unrivalled 11 zip-lines of varying heights outside, as well as disc-golf, archery, forestry walks and fairy trails already up and running, Faye says they’ve been blown away by the response so far. And with much more to come both indoors and out, she feels the potential for the area is endless.

“It was our father Tim who had the vision for this place. He was friendly with James Nelson Palmer who owned the land here and who has since passed. He and Dad used to be involved in the land and Dad would say this would be a great place for doing the stuff that we were doing,” says Faye, explaining that she and David are big into outdoor activities.

The family owns Delphi Resort in Leenane and has a background in adventure tourism, but Wildlands offers something different.

“With Delphi, it’s about overnight stays and school trips, whereas we don’t get a day-tripper crowd,” explains David. “We’ve gone for that different model here where it’s a park for day-trippers.”

Plans for the Moycullen park have been in development for over four years, and it was an unsuccessful bid for a Fáilte Ireland grant that hardened the family’s resolve that they had the perfect location for this venture.

“It was after that when we became really invested in the idea,” recalls Faye. “We had done all the business plans and we really started to believe that there was a need for this in Galway, in the West and in Ireland generally.”

She and David began to research what exactly they’d put in Wildlands, taking trips to similar facilities here and abroad – looking to what was most popular in the US and UK where adventure tourism is particularly strong.