Mayo National Park near Hotel Newport
Ballycroy National Park, established in 1998, renamed in 2018 as Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park, comprises of 15,000 hectares of Atlantic blanket bog and mountainous terrain. Covering a vast uninhabited and unspoilt wilderness, it is dominated by the Nephin Beg mountain range and the Owenduff bog. This is one of the last intact active blanket bog systems in Ireland and Western Europe. The Park protects a variety of other important habitats and species. These include alpine heath, upland grassland, lakes and river catchments. Greenland white-fronted geese, golden plover, red grouse and otters are just some of the important fauna found within the park.
Ballycroy National Park Visitor Centre, located in Ballycroy village just 30 km from Newport. Admission to the visitors centre is free and here you will find an interactive exhibition on the habitats, landscape and species found in Ballycroy National Park, as well as information on the surrounding area. Additional facilities include toilets, a coach car par and outdoor picnic areas. There is also a Tea Room (Open 10.30 am – 5.00 pm) with Soup, Sandwiches & Light Lunches. The Visitor Centre is open daily from 10.00 am until 5.30 pm between March and the end of October. There is disabled access to the visitor centre. For more information click here or call +353 (0)98 49888.
From the visitor centre there is a 2km looped walk which offers panoramic views of Achill Island to the west, and the Nephin Beg mountain range to the east. Accessible to all, this is a trail introduces sections of board walk, a very mild incline and a pond dipping pool. This remains open throughout the night even when the visitor centre is closed.
Hiking & Walking trails
The main body of the park is ideal for those wishing to hike in remote and wild areas and as such is recommended for experienced hill walkers. For information on walking loops and walking holidays in the area, click here.
How to get there
A free shuttle bus is in operation during the summer months, travelling between Bangor Erris to Westport. The shuttle bus operates in the morning departing at 10:00 and in the afternoon departing at 14:00. The shuttle bus operating from Westport to Bangor Erris departs at 09:00 in the morning and 14:00 in the afternoon. Full timetable details can be found on the website. – Find out more here