Mountains, Woodland, Coast & Countryside Walking opportunities
West Mayo is a hill walkers’ paradise and walking is one of the most popular activities for visitors, and for good reason. The views you’ll get when walking of the unspoilt countryside are breathtaking and the invigorating pure sea air direct from the Atlantic is an added bonus. But Mayo offer walks for all levels.
There are 4 marked looped walking trail walks from Newport, with more from nearby trail heads at Derrada, Tiernaur & Mulranny. You can get more details on these by Clicking Here.
Other walking trails range from short strolls around Westport and Castlebar to walks on spectacular Blue Flag and Green Coast beaches, loop walks by the sea, trekking in the hills and in the wood and forests around Clew Bay, to the spectacular Great Western Greenway and the more adventurous long-distance treks of the Western Way, Bangor Trail and Tóchar Phádraig. Click Here to view the Mayo Walks website which has details on all the walking trails around Mayo.
Croagh Patrick -Ireland’s pilgrimage mountain
Best known for its association with Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, who is said to have fasted for 40 days at the summit in 441AD, Croagh Patrick has been a pilgrimage destination since pre-Christian times.It was known by its ancient name of Cruchán Aigli, deriving from Cruach as a variant of ‘rick’ or ‘reek’, a reference to its distinctive conical shape. Hence, the mountain common local name, The Reek, spans the millennia.
The most popular trekking route to the summit begins at the west end of Murrisk on the Louisburgh Road (R335) at the signposted carpark. The route is 7km (4.3 miles) long, round-trip; bring sturdy boots, rain-gear and layers, as the temperature can be much lower at the top, and the wind can be quite strong, but on a clear day the view over Clew Bay is spectacular.
The Nephin Beg mountain range
The Nephin Beg mountain range dominates the skyline looking north over Clew Bay and Western Greenway B&B offers spectacular panoramic views of the range. It extends westward from Nephin (806m, 2,644ft) to Claggan Mountain (383m, 1,257ft), north of Mulranny and is a hill walking paradise offering a variety of trekking challanges.
Other principal summits include, moving westward from Nephin: Knockaffertagh (517m, 1,696ft), Birreencorragh (698m, 2,290ft), Mount Eagle (427m, 1,401ft), Buckoogh (588m, 1,929ft), Bengorm (582m, 1,909ft), Nephin Beg (627m, 2,057ft) and Glennamong (628m, 2,060ft).
The Bangor Trail passes through the range, on its way from near Newport to Bangor Erris, and the Letterkeen loop walks are north of Lough Feeagh in the midst of the range. The Great Western Greenway runs along the southern edge of the Nephin Beg range, offering a more gentle walking opportunity. There are plans, over the coming years, to turn much of the heart of this area into Ireland’s only true wilderness, with the removal of commercial forestry, roads and bridges.