OUTDOORS Walk of the Month – Mulranny loop walks

Outdoor Living
Mulranny loop walk

Up and over, between two bays

Tom Carolan

Mulranny loop walks
Length 4km/6km
Time 2/3 hours.
Difficulty Moderate/hard.
Terrain Tracks, bog and woodland paths; a couple of short, steep climbs

Mulranny is one of Co Mayo’s most picturesque villages, its idyllic setting on Clew Bay with the Nephin Beg mountain range as a backdrop make it a perfect place for outdoor activities.
The village has a few great pubs and restaurants as well as the wonderful Park Inn hotel. Mulranny is also one of the focal points of the Great Western Greenway, it’s a great location to start or finish your cycle and bike hire can be arranged through www.greenway.ie 
The local community and landowners recently came together to create a walking trail that loops around the village, taking in a variety of Mulranny’s most-attractive features.

Mulranny loop map

This looped trail starts and finishes at Mulranny beach, where you will find a mapboard that describes the trail and some of the features along the way, following the red and blue arrows on the black marker posts. From the beach, you head uphill along a path bordered by fuchsia where views over the bay will emerge. You can look back across Trawoughter Strand, the delicate cast-iron causeway bridge that spans it, and the wide salt marshes that are a home for geese in winter and wading birds all year round. 
Keep following the signs up the ‘booster station’ road before turning into Cushlecca Bog; watch out for the tunnel through the gorse bushes and the many lovely viewing points along the way.
After passing by Mulranny church you climb up lookout hill. This hill is covered in trees but as you meander to the top you will be rewarded with views across Clew Bay towards Croagh Patrick, Connemara and the Islands.
After you descend from Lookout Hill you will join the Great Western Greenway, here you are presented with a choice, turn right and you will have a short walk to the Park Inn hotel from where you can get back to the beach via the famous Mulranny causeway, just walk down the steps opposite the front door of the hotel.
Alternatively, you can turn left on the Greenway for an extra 2km hike through lovely woodland; another small hill has to be climbed with spectacular views not just of Clew Bay but also the beautiful Bellacrogher bay to the north-west. You will arrive back at the hotel from where you can have a stroll along the causeway back to the beach.

Tom Carolan works for South West Mayo Development Company as Recreation Officer. His job involves the design, construction, and promotion of recreational trails. He can be contacted at living@mayonews.ie.