The Bangor Trail
The Bangor Trail
The Bangor Trail is a 26-km long arduous trek through the wet boglands that skirt the Nephin Beg mountains of west Mayo.
Location : Letterkeen Forest carpark, near Newport, County Mayo.
Level : Strenuous, with many ups and downs along the way, but without any major steep sections (maximum height is 235m).
Duration : 10 to 12 hours.
Leaving the carpark, we spend the first section on the popular Letterkeen Loop Walk, before leaving it to complete the rarely hiked full Bangor Trail, 26km of wet boggy underfoot conditions. This is an uninhabited area, where you can lose yourself in the vastness of west Mayo’s wilderness. We walk beneath Nephin Beg, Slieve Carr and Knocklettercuss, crossing the Tarsaghaunmore River, before emerging towards the village of Bangor Erris beyond. A truly unique and wonderful day’s hiking.
Hiking this trail is a tough day out, with generally demanding underfoot conditions, although there is no hill climbing involved. The Trail is a centuries old drovers’ track, for people bringing their north Mayo animals to the market town of Newport.
From Newport to Letterkeen, the Trail is unattractive, being mostly on tarmac surfaces. Our hike is entirely off-road and begins at the carpark of the Letterkeen plantation forest.
This is a strenuous but wonderful and invigorating day in the wilds of County Mayo. You will feel the isolation of this most authentic of Irish hiking trails, as we cross expansive blanket bog systems towards Bangor Erris in the north.
Please note :
The Bangor Trail long-distance hike is not suitable to persons aged under 16 years.
You absolutely must have fully waterproof hiking boots and should have waterproof trousers and jacket. If you have gaitors and like to use hiking poles, bring them along! Bring a packed lunch and more food than usual, plus loads of water.
A lift back to the start is provided.
This is a long, tough day, so please be sure that you possess great stamina and are physically up to the challenge of 10+ hours of hiking in almost entirely wet underfoot conditions.
If a less strenuous day is more your thing, check out my very leisurely and lovely Cong Woods hike here.