Boots on, get walking

Here are some great suggestions for you to get out into the fresh air and sample the walks of Connemara.

Derryclare Woods

A two to four-hour walk in the Inagh Valley near Recess. Features stunning woodland with deciduous and coniferous trees (many large native oaks ), extensive lichens and moss, lakes and great views of the 12 Bens. Distance is about 10km, with only about 150m of climbing. The terrain is a mix of forest track, rough woodland and wet/rocky bogland so strong boots with good ankle support are needed. Also requires outdoor clothing, food, water and a face mask.

Killary Harbour/Fjord Famine Walk

A three to four-hour hike along the shore of Ireland’s only fjord. Features dramatic coastal landscape, with the fjord, the dramatic Mweelrea mountain, bog land and stunning views, passing the Killary Sheep Farm (working dogs and turf cutting ). The terrain includes small road, rocky trail (Famine Relief Road ) and boggy track. The distance is about 6km with about 140m of climbing (assuming a drop off and pick up ). Requires a reasonable level of fitness and walking boots (preferably waterproof ) with good ankle support, along with water, outdoor clothing (also preferably waterproof ), and face mask.

Letterfrack Woods

A gentle two-hour walk around the historic Connemara village concentrating on the woods. Includes the Ellis Wood in which there are large numbers of bluebell and wild garlic plants (flowering dramatically in spring ). Includes hiking the woodland overlooking the Ballynakill Bay and visiting a 4,000 year old megalithic (court ) tomb in the Connemara National Park. Requires walking boots with good grip and preferably ankle support along with outdoor clothing and a face mask.

Cong and Clonbur Forest Ramble

A two to three-hour forest walk from Cong to Clonbur, through the special forests separating loughs Corrib and Mask. The walk passes the Cong River, the Pigeon Hole cave, an impressive old castle and spectacular limestone pavement. Watch out for unusual trees and native Irish wildflowers. Walking shoes or boots would suit the terrain of forest tracks and minor surfaced roads. The distance is about 7km and is virtually flat.

Diamond Moon

A two to three-hour guided climb providing an opportunity to experience the full moon on the Diamond trail in the Connemara National Park. There is a path to the summit. But there are many steps and in a couple of places you will need to use your hands. Also, it can be quite windy on top. It is a 7km hike including a total ascent of 510m. Torch/headlamp, strong boots with good grip, warm clothing and a face mask are essential. Note that this night walk involves extra risk and needs a clear sky.

Clifden Glen

An easy to moderate two to four-hour hike convenient to Clifden town. The landscape includes native oak woodland, river and open mountainside, with panoramic views of the 12 Bens and Roundstone Bog. Terrain includes rough trails, open hillside, sheep track. This walk is very flexible in terms of distance and difficulty and can be customised to suit your requirements.

Omey Walk

An easy two to four-hour hike around the beautiful tidal Omey island near Claddaghduff, which is a Discovery Point on the Wild Atlantic Way. Features beautiful sand, dunes, rare grassland, remains of an old church and houses, a holy well and birdlife. Distance is about 8km with some gentle climbing. Terrain includes beach, grass, track and surfaced minor road. This walk includes crossing the intertidal strand to this historic island. This walk can be done in sandals (and bare feet on the sand and some of the grass if you wish ).

For further information on any of these walks, contact [email protected].

 

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