Welcome to Ballycroy National Park
“Indeed the Nephinbeg range of mountains is I think the very loneliest place in this country, for the hills themselves are encircled by this vast area of trackless bog, I confess I find such a place not lonely or depressing but inspiriting. You are thrown at the same time back upon yourself and forward against the mystery and majesty of nature.”
Robert Lloyd Praeger (1937) The Way That I Went
Ballycroy National Park was established in November 1998, it is Ireland’s sixth National Park and is located on the Western seaboard in northwest Mayo. It comprises of 11,000 hectares of Atlantic blanket bog and mountainous terrain, covering a vast uninhabited and unspoilt wilderness dominated by the Nephin Beg mountain range. Between Nephin beg and Slieve Carr, at 721metres above sea level, the highest mountain in the range, lie the Scardaun Loughs.
To the west of the mountains is the Owenduff bog. This is one of the last intact active blanket bog systems in Ireland and Western Europe and is an important scientific and scenic feature of the National Park. The Park also protects a variety of other important habitats and species. These include alpine heath, upland grassland, heath and lakes and river catchments. Greenland White-fronted geese, Golden plover, Red Grouse and Otters are just some of the important fauna found within the Park. The National Park is itself part of the Owenduff/Nephin Complex Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Area (SPA). These European designations are part of the Natura 2000 Network, which protect rare and important habitats and species under the EU Habitats and Birds Directive.
The Visitor Centre is located in the village of Ballycroy on the N59 road between Mulranny and Bangor.
Take the N59 in the direction of Achill. Travel 16 km and you will reach the village of Mulranny. After the village you will come to a junction where the N59 turns right and is sign posted for Ballycroy National Park Visitor Centre.
Travel 14 km along this road and you will arrive at the Village of Ballycroy.
In the village you will see a sign for the Visitor Centre, turn right and the main entrance to the Visitor Centre is 300 metres on the right hand side.
From Bangor Erris
Follow the N59 south, in the direction of Mulranny. Travel 17 km to the village of Ballycroy , you will see a sign at the junction in the village for the Visitor Centre, turn left and travel 300 metres and the main entrance to the Visitor Centre is on your right hand side.
Photo: ROS KAVANAGH PHOTOGRAPHER