A great weekend of walking in Mayo

All thoughts of the long cold winter were banished when the first days of spring coincided with the start of the 2011 Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail (CPHT ) Walking Festival.

The three day annual festival organised by the Tóchar Valley Rural Community Network took place on March 18 to 20, and what a superb weekend of walking took place. Blessed with beautiful weather and a wonderful crowd, some 160 walkers turned out over the weekend to walk the 61km CPHT from Balla to Murrisk where the range and diversity of the landscape was simply enriching.

Such is the significance of this growing festival that on day one, the walkers were joined by a very distinguished guest, the Slovenian Ambassador to Ireland Jasna Gersak and her husband Boris. They were delighted by the warm welcome they received and enjoyed interacting with fellow walkers and the local communities.

The CPHT annual festival is noted for its community hospitality and the passage through rural Mayo is told in the stories of how the generations lived before us. The festival concluded on Sunday March 20 under the majestic mountain of Croagh Patrick in Murrisk with refreshments in the community centre and then onto Campbell’s which provided excellent trad entertainment and a much needed pint or two for the weary walker.

The 2011 Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail Walking Festival was the most successful festival to date and organisers extend their sincere thanks to all the Tóchar Valley Communities, the event organisers, guides, staff, Coillte, and the members of the Order of Malta. A special mention to sponsor Fíor Uisce for sponsoring the fabulous fresh needed water and Wear it Out for sponsoring the hi-vis vests.

They also say a special thank you to all of the walkers for their jovial participation in the festival and the landowners who are the wonderful custodians of the rural Mayo countryside. Next year’s festival will be held on Friday March 23 to Sunday March 25.

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