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Guided Walking Holidays in Mayo & Connemara, Ireland

 

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Bellacorick Bog Loop

Bellacorick Bog Loop – 13kms of flat, easy walking

While the first and last 1km is uninspiring, passing along a stony track shared by times with heavy machinery involved in the installation of a new wind farm, the recently designated Bellacorick Bog Loop both surprises and delights by the wild beauty of its inner 11km.

This loop walk follows now disused bog railway tracks through post-production peat cutting fields off the Crossmolina to Belmullet road, just east of the turn towards Castlebar. Having negotiated the not-very-pretty first stretch (and, by the way, having walked over the new gasline coming down from Bellanaboy), the loop leaves the new trackway to head off into the vast bog on mostly grassy tracks with Birdsfoot Trefoil beneath our feet.

Bellacorick bog loop

During May and June, we walk among beautiful wildlfowers in bloom, including Red and White Clover, Bog Cotton, Eyebright, Milkwort, Butterwort, Sundew, Tormentil, Silverweed, Yellow Iris and others.

Bellacorick Bog Loop offers great views over Nephin, Birreencorragh, Slieve Carr and Nephin Beg to the south, with Benmore and Slieve Feeagh rising above the seemingly endless bogs to the north. At various stages, we walk alongside the Oweninny River and its small tributaries. Long stretches are very pleasant indeed, although do take note that it tends to be windy up here in Ireland’s little “Big Sky Country”. Further along, we come in close proximity to the huge wind turbines being ‘planted’ all around, while five female Red Deer run away, having heard, smelled us or both.

Bellacorick bog loop - bog cotton

Birds encountered include Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Northern Wheatear and Sand Martin, while Kestrels have been seen on previous visits. This is Fox, Otter and Pine Marten country too, although none are spotted today.

While an inland flat walk like the Bellacroick Bog Loop cannot compare with, say, Mayo’s fabulous cliff-top trails, it is nevertheless a very pleasant stroll at this time of year, with lovely wildflowers all along. The loop also boasts two nice picnic tables, made of recycled plastic. Go and discover – you’ll enjoy!

Bellacorick Bog Loop walk : 13 km; 3.5 hours, plus stops.

Posted in Walking in the West of Ireland | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

2 Responses to Bellacorick Bog Loop

  • Malcolm McPherson said on October 22, 2016 at 10:58:

    Unfortunately, the Bellacorick loop walk will soon become dominated by 179m high wind turbines which will be highly visible from many miles away and also, unfortunately, from such gems of the Mayo countryside as the Nephin Begs, Nephin, etc. I just hope we don’t get to the stage where these mountains and Ballycroy N.P become virtually surrounded by these highly obtrusive objects, thereby completely destroying any sense of wilderness that remains in the area. Make no mistake: this subsidy-driven gold rush is in full swing and developers will quite happily plant their turbines anywhere our foolish authorities allow them to.

    • Barry Murphy said on October 24, 2016 at 12:27:

      Thanks for your comment Malcolm. I don’t disagree with you, however, I guess they’re better than peat-burning power plants.


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