The Grantstown Wood & Granston Lough Nature Reserve and the Coolacurragh Wood in Laois are paradise for nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs.
The Lake itself and the surrounding woodlands is a nature and wildlife reserve and there is continual development and promotion of the amenity for locals and tourists. Recently a car park, lake jetty and access paths have been created and loop walks in the woods.
The lake and woodlands at Grantstown are also gaining a reputation as a great fishing spot. The course angling is renowned and anglers travel from throughout Ireland and the UK to enjoy reeling in the Pike, the Rudd and Tench. It is the intention of the next phase of the development that a similar reputation will be attributed to the area by historians, walkers and nature enthusiasts alike. The woods are great examples of wet woodland on base-rich soils. They are dominated by alder, ash, birch and hawthorn.
Within the reserve is Grantstown Castle, a five storey circular tower to the west of Ballycolla, in a field just southwest of Grantstown Lough. It was built by a lord of Upper Ossory, and in 1653 held by Gilbert Rawson. By 1696 it had been granted by William III to Richard and Edward Fitzpatrick. At the wallwalk level there are two surviving machicolations.