Hiking Ballycroy National Park

ballycroy national park at night

Ballycroy National Park

Ballycroy National Park located 45 minutes from The Middle Way Hostelis one of the largest peatlands in Europe and the third-largest of Ireland’s six national parks. 

There are many different trails and loops to explore, hike and walk through this park and all offer incredible views and wildlife.

Hiking Ballycroy National Park
Ballycroy National is the only Park which shares a boundary with the sea

There are 4 amazing ways to enjoy the park.

Ballycroy National Park
Expert trail talkers, not expert trail walker are needed to complete the Claggen Coast Trail loop.

The Claggen Coastal Trail

Enjoy a simple 1km boardwalk across the peat bog, returning along the shore between the boardwalk and the shoreline. This trail is a beautiful and relaxing 2km loop walk. 

Beautiful island views and great wildlife along the way make this trail well worth the walk. The trail is very leisurely and one to encourage chat and reflection. 

The Letterkeen Loop Trails

The softness of the bog and the crunch of the forest expands out over 3 colour-coded loop trails. The trails range from 6km to 12km and on these amazing hikes showcase amazing river banks, open mountain views and vast autumn coloured boglands. Wildlife, such as the birds and other mammals are also often spotted.

Dark Sky Reserve

Showcasing some of Ireland’s darkest skies, your hike will be lined with beautiful mosses and shrubs. There are 3 Dark Sky viewing stations along the way.

On clear nights you can see 4500+ stars, a host of planets, the milky way, and even meteor showers all seen with the naked eye. This hike is simply amazing at night with awe-inspiring sights to be seen. 

ballycroy national park nephin
The Nephin Beg Mountain range

The Bangor Trail

Down this trail, you are led through the Nephin Beg Mountain range. This trail is not recommended for beginner hikers. The trail is 26km to 40km long depending on where on the trail you start your hike. The hike time is about 12 hours with no setbacks. The elements of the trail are ever-changing and the sights are beautiful. 

Hiking Safety

Even on the easiest of trails here in the park, you should always take precautions. Have plenty of water and keep hydrated, as you are using a lot of energy. Make sure that you let someone know where you are going, when you are going and when you intend to return. Keep your phone with you and carry a charging device as a precaution.

Whether a beginner walking the Claggen Coast Trail or an experienced hiker on the Bangor Trail you will enjoy your time exploring the Ballycroy National Park. 

The landscapes, mountain views, shorelines and wildlife are simply amazing. You just can’t go wrong hiking even the easiest of trails in this national park. 

Make sure to bring your camera as beautiful locations inspire beautiful moments.

Does Inner Peace meet Outdoor Adventure? – Oh yes!

The Ballycroy National Park perfectly fits our Middle Way Hostel World.

Paul Feeney
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