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Western Way - Galway

Trail Overview Details

Grade: Moderate
Format: Linear
Trail Quality: **
County: Galway
Category: Walking/Hiking Trails
Type: National Waymarked Trail
Length (Kms): 55.00
Climb (m): 533
Estimated time: 2 days
Start point: Oughterard
Start point grid ref: M 123 428
End point: Leenaun
End point grid ref: L 879 620
Nearest town to start: Oughterard
Ordnance survey map: OSI Discovery Series Sheets 37, 38, 44* (*ca 1.8km), 45
Dogs Allowed: No
Facilities: Parking
At Start - on street in Oughterard
At End - on street in Leenaun
Public transport: At Start: None At End: Very limited bus service Check with Bus Eireann.
Map guide available: Slí an Iarthair or The Western Way in Connemara - Folding Landscapes


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Description of Trail

This 66 km linear walking route provides an excellent introduction for walkers to the beautiful and scenic wildernesses of Connemara in County Galway in the west of Ireland. Starting in the famous angler’s town of Oughterard on Lough Corrib, it follows the western edge of the lake, one of the longest, and the second largest lake in Ireland, northwards into a magnificent wilderness of mountain and bog to reach civilisation again at the village of Maam Bridge. It was from here that the Scottish engineer Alexander Nimmo planned the modern roads of Connemara in the early 19th century. From Maam Bridge the route crosses the rugged Maumturk Mountains by a pass, at the top of which is Maum Ean, a holy place that has attracted pilgrims since the early Christian period. Descending again into the beautiful Inagh Valley the route passes between the Twelve Bens and the Maumturks, and through a sad landscape that was, before the Great Famine, well populated by cottiers, to reach the shores of Killary Harbour and the picturesque village of Leenane, one of the locations for the movie The Field. Overnight accommodation is limited along the route, so careful planning is necessary. The terrain consists of quiet roads, bog roads, open moorland, forestry tracks, mountain paths and about 3km of timber bog bridge: some parts of the route can be very wet and boggy, particularly after a rainy period, when there is a fast run-off from the Connemara mountains. The total aggregate ascent over the route is about 620m.

Trail Reviews

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30 kms or 54% of the Way follows local roads.

Trail management organisation contact details

Rosaleen Ní Shúilleabháin, Rural Recreational Officer. Forum Connemara CLG, The Low Road, Clifden, Co. Galway. Tel: 00353(0) 95-41116
Web: www.thewesternway.ie

Trail Map


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