“The Nephin Beg range is the very loneliest place in this country, for the hills themselves are encircled by vast area of trackless bog.” Robert Praeger.
Ballycroy National Park is Ireland’s only true designated wilderness: 11,000 hectares of Atlantic blanket bog and mountainous terrain, covering a vast uninhabited and unspoilt wilderness dominated by the Nephin Beg mountain range. The Owenduff bog is one of the few intact active blanket bog systems in Western Europe, and is of key scientific importance.
Ballycroy is untamed; a place to see Greenland white-fronted geese, golden plover, red grouse and otters. The very few local people that still inhabit the area are truly a breed apart – keeping the flame of a fading existence.
There is now a visitor centre with interactive exhibits on the culture, history and biodiversity of the area. There’s also a charming tea room serving soup, sandwiches and light lunches.
Follow the tame, well-made paths around the centre, or roam out into the wilderness ̶ but dress accordingly as the flourishing blanket bog is sustained by frequent rain and showers.
Keep an eye out for insect-eating plants such as sundew and butterwort, as well as hares, hen harriers and peregrine falcons.
All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2019. Mayo.ie