County Mayo is a perfect place for walking and outdoor life. In fact, walkers are
well catered for in the county with plenty of planned trails and a special walking
Mayo County Council has developed three planned walking routes throughout the county – The Western Way, The Foxford Way and The Bangor Trail.
Ireland’s pilgrimage mountain is a focal point in West Mayo, rising, as it does, steeply from the sea. On the last Sunday of July each year, thousands of pilgrims climb this mountain, many in their bare feet, in memory of Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick, who, it is claimed, fasted and prayed here for 40 days and nights.The Moy Valley is also an ideal walking venue, featuring several theme walks, with a Great Famine walk at Bonninconlon and the Sculpture Trail along the coast. The sculptures which can be found throughout the walk, have been executed by Irish and International artists as their response to the local environment.
Clare Island off the coast at the mouth of Clew Bay also has some excellent walks, both for those who like gentle strolling and for the more experienced climbers. Knockaveen Hill, near the harbour is a pleasant walk, giving good views of the island and nearby mainland. Croaghmore is for the more adventurous, but the views and the wildlife make it worthwhile . There are several developed forest/woodland trails which include car parks and picnic sites. Moore Hall, 11km north of Ballinrobe, is a 3km trail. Tourmakeady is a 2.5km walk, while Letterkeen Wood, 9km north of Newport is a 5km trail which includes a well preserved ring fort which dates from about 8000 BC For further information on walks in Tourmakeady see www.tourmakeady.com.