Hiking & Walking

The red line is the boundary of the park and the dotted lines are hiking trails.

Bangor Trail

The main route through the park is the Bangor Trail which starts in Bangor Erris and finishes in Newport (approx.40 KM) and vice versa. The Bangor Trail is an old road through the Nephin Beg mountains in north-west Mayo. It used to be the main route from Bangor to Newport, dating back to the 16th Century. Nowadays it mainly attracts recreational walkers, though due to the distance involved and the rough ground underfoot it is probably quieter now than it once was at the height of Ireland’s population in the early 1800s.

The Bangor Trail is not a beginners walk and should not be taken lightly. Proper care and consideration should be undertaken before embarking on this trail. Suitable wet gear and provisions are essential. A full list of recommendations can be found in the PDF below.

For more information please look at our Bangor Trail Leaflet (PDF).

Letterkeen Loops

Hiking Trails also start at the Brogan Carrol Bothy (Newport – 10km): Letterkeen Loop Walk

The road to access the Letterkeen Loop walks is situated 1 km the Mulranny side of Newport. Here there is a right hand turn, if driving towards Mulranny, with signposts for both the Letterkeen Loop & Bangor Trail. The trails are about 10 km upwards and at each junction look for the sign for the Letterkeen Loop. There is car parking facilities at the Loops starting point.

Once you have arrived at Letterkeen there are three different loop walks all of varying length and difficulty. These range from 6 km – 12 km.

The first of these is the Bothy Loop (6 km, BLUE marker), this loop will take an estimated 2 hours to complete and is recommended for those with a moderate level of fitness.

The next trail is the Lough Aroher Loop (10 km, RED marker), this loop will take an estimated 3 – 3.5 hours to cpmplete and is recommended for those with a moderate to high level of fitness.

The third trail available from this location is the Letterkeen Loop (12 km, Purple marker), and is recommended for those with a high level of fitness. For more information on each of these including directions for the trails can be found and printed from here. Also a map of the area can be found here.

Suitable hiking boots / wet gear is advised as parts of the trails can become very wet underfoot.

Visitor Centre

From our visitor centre there is a 2 km loop walk that offers panoramic views of Achill Island to the west, as well as the Nephin Beg mountain range that are part of the Ballycroy National Park to the east. While our centre is closed at 5:30 pm every evening the grounds remain open so those wishing to partake of the walk can do so at any time.

This is the only walk available from the visitor centre so those of you wishing to avail of longer hikes & walks please see the above examples or contact the visitor centre on 098-49888 or email ballycroyvisitorcentre@chg.gov.ie for more information.

Ballycroy National Park

Ballycroy National Park comprises 11,000 hectares of Atlantic blanket bog and mountainous terrain, covering a vast uninhabited and unspoilt wilderness dominated by the Nephin Beg mountain range.

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.

The main body of the park is ideal for those wishing to hike in remote and wild areas and as such is recommended for experienced hillwalkers.

Hiking / Walking / Camping

Wild Nephin Map

OSI Discovery Series 23 & 31 (1:50,000)

Bangor Trail

 

Advice to Visitors

 

  • Hill walking in the Park can only be recommended for walkers with suitable outdoor clothing and equipment.
  • Do not venture into the hills alone.
  • Know your limits and those of your friends walking with you.
  • Inform a competent person of your walking trip and estimated time of return.
  • We are happy to act as your contact – Phone 00 353 98 49888 for more info
  • Take litter away with you.
  • Leave wild flowers for everyone to enjoy. Photograph or sketch them instead of picking them.
  • If you bring dogs to the Park, keep them on a leash.
  • The National Park is an enjoyable experience but must be treated with respect.
  • If you wish to camp in the Park please download and follow the guidelines required: Camping Code (pdf)

Camping

 

Please contact us if you have any questions

 

ballycroyvisitorcentre@ahg.gov.ie

00 353 98 49888