Corraun Peninsula - Between Island and Mainland

Corraun Peninsula – Between Island and Mainland

Corraun is kept attached to the Irish mainland by rocky boggy land to its east, barely 800 m wide. Off its western shore, meanwhile, a channel just 150 m wide holds Achill Island at bay.

The Corraun peninsula, 99% surrounded by water, may as well be an island in its own right. Indeed, with only a single road running around its waters’ edge, the inner Corraun can only be discovered on foot. Luckily, a hike is well worth the effort.

Corraun boasts two small mountains, Knockletragh (452 m) to the north and the more impressive Corraun Hill (541 m) to the south. If you are driving around Corraun along its southern shore, don’t let the harmless looking southern slopes of Corraun Hill fool you. This mountain has excellent cliffs and wonderful corries on its northern flank.

Corraun Mayo lakes

A glimpse of the lakes on Corraun

Although its raw, barren beauty has been somewhat lessened by plantation forests, the valley that lies between the two mountains remains a gem. A close inspection of the map reveals about 14 lakes of varying sizes, including the 3 lovely corrie Loughs Knockacorraun, Cullydoo and Cullylea.

I recently hiked Corraun from east to west, then cycled back along the northern road and parts of the Greenway. Note that the Greenway is not all off-road on the stretch from Mulranny towards Achill and I would not recommend this section for families with children.

Hiking Corraun Ireland

Looking towards Achill Island from Corraun

The hike requires a long 2 – 3 km stretch in from the road, across boggy terrain, before an ascent onto Corraun itself can be commenced. While there is no entirely satisfactory route to take, I would recommend one that goes roughly NE – SW, so that the views down towards Mulranny and Clew Bay beyond can be enjoyed.

The initial drag is worth it, though, as the views across Clew Bay are spectacular and those of the hidden valley to the north are very pleasant too. I descended towards Achill Sound, past Loughaun, the largest of the lakes, changed my footwear and cycled off back to my start point just outside Mulranny. A great day.

Corraun is ranked 14th among Mayo mountains.

Corraun Hike

Hike : 13.5 km; 4h45; ascent 700 m.

Cycle : 13.0 km; 0h45.

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One Response to Corraun Peninsula – Between Island and Mainland

  • Saikumar said on August 11, 2015 at 14:59:

    Myself and my two friends spent a day cycling from Westport to Mulranny and back. It was the most enjoyable activity I’ve done in ages. We rented our bikes in Westport town. They were great bikes and he was lovely and very helpful. We were delayed coming home and he waited for us to return the bikes. The Greenway is a credit to everyone involved in its opening. There were spectacular views and the most wonderful smells of the lovely Irish countryside. I would recommend this to anyone able to cycle or walk along it. You don’t need to be an amazing cyclist – this is accessible to everyone. It was one of the most lovely days I’ve spent out cycling. Make the most of it and enjoy. Hopefully next time I’ll organise myself to make it to Achill for the night. Laura xx

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