The ninth annual Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail Walking Festival is taking place over three days, starting on Friday March 10 and running through to Sunday March 12.
This 61km walking trail is well-known for its community hospitality, from the starting point at Balla, the trail passes through deciduous woodland, across rolling fields and raised bog in the communities of Clogher, Killawalla, Aughagower, Blackloon/Drummin, and finally to Murrisk.
Expert guides will be on hand to give their own interpretation regarding old stories and archaeology along the trail. The walkers will also experience 5,000 years of Mayo’s history, from the Neolithic period to the Medieval period and up to the 19th century. These include archaeological features such as the Neolithic Rock Art at Boheh, the seven feet tall standing stone at Lankill, the 10th century Balla Round Tower, the early 14th century Donamoona Castle, the 10th century Aughagower round tower, and early the 13th century Ballintubber Abbey.
These are just a few of many outstanding heritage sites on the trail, both environmental and archaeological, Mayo’s natural beauty at its best. Described as mainly low level path, the Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail does reach a high point of 310 metres along the way. The trail is a nationally accredited way-marked way, which requires that 80 per cent of it is off road. The remaining 20 per cent utilises boreens and ancient pathways as it makes its way through picturesque villages, arriving at the trail's final destination at Murrisk, on the shores of Clew Bay.
What sets the Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail Walking Festival apart from the rest, is the great sense of community spirit, warm hospitality of the local people, and the professional organisation of this walking event. Over the three days on the Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail, water, food, and refreshments are provided. Water is provided by Fior Uisce of Tourmakeady, Kelly’s Butchers of Newport and Karma Bars of Castlebar are also providing refreshments. These refreshments stops are located along the many community centres, pubs and schools along the trail. The trail also provides back-up cars and qualified first-aiders.
For more information, contact Greg or William at the Clogher Heritage Office on (094 ) 903687 or email: [email protected], to register log on to www.iregister.ie/v24/events/croagh-patrick-heritge-trail/