Because of the large variety of its landscape, the county of Mayo offers multiple possibilities as regards excursions. Indeed, one can pass from low-lying lake-lands in the east, to a mountainous area on the west coast. The experienced hiker will be delighted, because each excursion will be a new discovery. The occasional walker will not be disappointed either, because Mayo has plenty of places where hikers can walk by themselves.
We will now give a brief description of the main places visited by the amateur hikers in the county of Mayo.
Please remember to adhere to the seven principles designed to help you to protect the natural environment and the unique Mayo's habitats. Our countryside is a precious natural resource, VISIT WITH CARE!
Mayo is a family friendly county, there are some walks suitable and enjoyable for all family and younger children, easy to walk. Discover where your childrens can burn off their excess energy.
The 42km Great Western Greenway from Westport through Newport to Achill is Irelands' longest off road cycling and walking facility.
Croagh Patrick, (765m) is the undisputed 'holy mountain' of Ireland. Thousands of pilgrims journey to the top of Croagh Patrick each year. The views from the top are really breathtaking. The islands of Inishturk and Inishbofin are surrounded by the powerful waves of the ocean. Clare Island is north west, and Clew Bay with its 365 islands is north. It is a trail for the experienced walker. Walkers should be very well equipped, especially with good walking shoes.
The Erris Head Loop Walk is a 5 km long loop walk. It is part of a countrywide network of high-quality, where the walker can walk spotting spectacular views and discover the rich and varied wildlife of Erris.
The Nephin Mountain Walk is a breathtaking walk. Among the most interesting of Connaught's mountains is Nephin, which has been climbed and revered for generations. Nephin is a majestic mountain, which dominates the landscape for miles around.It is a conical shaped quartzite mountain standing alone overlooking Lough Conn and it is the second highest mountain in Connaught, second only to Mweelrea also in County Mayo, overlooking Killary Harbour.
The Mweelrea Mountain Walk is a hard walk. Mweelrea Mountain (814m) is the highest mountain in Connaught and is guarded on all sides by craggy slopes giving the impression that it is unconquerable. It is flanked on one side by Killary Harbour, Ireland's only true fjord and on the other side by Doolough Pass, a glaciated valley. There are no easy ascents of this mighty mountain and it needs to be approached with care. Reserve a clear day for the climb and enjoy the panorama of the mountains, coast and surrounding islands.
The Letterkeen Loop is a Way Marked Route was officially opened in July 2000. Its development was a natural progression as the region had already two Way Marked Trails namely the Bangor Trail and the Western Way passing though The Nephin Beg Mountain range. The route of this walk combines a portion of the Bangor Trail and the Western Way and a trail that joins both these routes through what is known locally as "The Sheep Pass".
This path starts from Newport to arrive at Bangor, in the Barrony of Erris, while passing by the mountain Nephin Beg. It is a distance of 48km the majority of which depicts wild, unspoilt natural beauty at its best.
The island proposes 14 paths marked out and charted. The walks are classified into easy, average or difficult. Some are true excursions into the mountains.
Granuaile loop walk is a new scenic walking trail on Achill Island. Officially opened in Summer 2015, this walk offers stunning panoramic views on Ghráinne Mhaol's sea kingdom.
Beginning on the shores of Lough Corrib this famous trail winds its way through Connemara's Highlands including the great fjord of Killary harbour. Offering magnificent views of mountains, lakes and coast the trail then continues on into County Mayo, skirting Croagh Patrick with lovely views of Clew Bay, on to the charming town of Westport. The trail then follows the old bog roads to the north Mayo Coast before it swings east to finish in Ballina.
Bonniconlon boasts a wild beauty and is an ideal walking and cycling base. All of the trails are suitable for mountain bike use and easily accessible. They cater for all levels of fitness.
Belleek Forest Park, situated along the banks of the river Moy, just on the outskirts of Ballina, is 200 acres of woodlands and trees with up to 6 miles of forest pathways in an area of immense peace and tranquillity. Enjoy walking through Belleek Forest Park where the only sounds you will hear are the rustling of the trees, the lapping waters of the river Moy and the songs of the birds.
The Foxford Way is a long distance walk of 56 miles which goes from Foxford to Kilsheshnan to Straide to Derryhick and back to Foxford again. This trail complements the Mayo Western Way, Mayo's longest walk, extending it south through the Ox Mountains, from Foxford to Staide and around Lough Cullin. The route completes a circular tour of North East Mayo. In Foxford there are other very well developed trails, Foxford Loops Walks, suitable for all levels of fitness all easily accessible from Foxford town.
From Ballintubber runs the old pilgrim road to Croagh Patrick, 22 miles (35.4 km) away, known as Tochar Phadraig, after Ireland's patron saint. In 1987 the Tochar walk was restored from Ballintubber Abbey and since then, it has become possible to walk the Tochar from Balla. The Tochar Phadraig is a mixture of roads and cross-country with a variety of terrains.
The Tourmakeady Loop Walk is a distance of 5km, through beautiful countryside including woodland paths, forestry roadway and some minor roads with wonderful glimpses of the Partry Mountains. The most breathtaking scenery can be discovered in the walks through the heart of forest. Among the features of interest in this circular walk are a wildfowl pond and a beautiful waterfall.
This 10.5 km long circular walk is a good half days walking through the upper Owenwee Valley. On your way through the valley you will discover the blanket bog habitat and its biodiversity.
The Skelp Mountain walk makes a circuit around Croagh Patrick. This 11km walk starts and finish at the entrance to Brackloon Woods.
These are but a few examples of interesting and challenging Mayo trails. There are guides indexing all the marked out paths and these can be obtained from your nearest tourist information centre or read more information about your destination on our website under the section Town & Villages.
Historical Walking Tour of Castlebar
A Guided Historical Walking Tour of Castlebar, Castlebar Heritage Trail, will be held each Tuesday and Thursday during the months of July and August. The tours will commence each evening at 7pm from The Imperial Hotel, The Mall, Castlebar. Your guide will be Brian Hoban, Local Historian & Bord Failte Approved Tour Guide.