The Great Western Greenway is a stunning cycling and walking trail that winds through the beautiful countryside of County Mayo in Ireland. The trail runs for 42 kilometers, starting in Westport and ending in Achill Island. It is the longest off-road walking and cycling trail in Ireland and attracts visitors from all over the world.
The trail follows the route of the former Westport to Achill railway line, which was closed in 1937. The railway line was built in the late 1800s to connect the town of Westport with the remote areas of Achill Island and Mulranny. The trail was developed in the early 2000s and has become a popular destination for walkers, cyclists, and nature enthusiasts.
The trail passes through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Ireland, including forests, boglands, lakes, and mountains. It offers stunning views of Clew Bay, Croagh Patrick, and the Nephin Mountains. The trail is also home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including wildflowers, birds, and butterflies.
Cycling the Great Western Greenway
Cycling is the most popular way to experience the Great Western Greenway. The trail is well-maintained and easy to cycle, with gentle gradients and no steep hills. The trail is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, and there are several bike rental shops in Westport and other towns along the route.
Cycling the trail is a great way to experience the stunning landscapes of County Mayo. The trail passes through several small towns and villages, including Newport, Mulranny, and Achill, where visitors can stop for a coffee or a bite to eat. The trail also passes through several historic sites, including the 16th-century Burrishoole Abbey and the deserted village of Slievemore on Achill Island.
Walking the Great Western Greenway
Walking is another great way to experience the Great Western Greenway. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow, with several rest areas and picnic spots along the way. The trail is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, and there are several guided walks available for those who want to learn more about the history and wildlife of the area.
Walking the trail is a great way to experience the natural beauty of County Mayo. The trail passes through several areas of outstanding natural beauty, including the boglands of Bellacorick and the hills of Mulranny. The trail also passes through several areas of historic interest, including the prehistoric burial cairn of Clogher and the ruins of the 19th-century railway station at Murrisk.
Things to see and do on the Great Western Greenway
The Great Western Greenway offers visitors a wide range of things to see and do. In addition to cycling and walking, visitors can also enjoy fishing, kayaking, and horse riding. The trail passes through several small towns and villages, where visitors can explore the local shops, pubs, and restaurants.
One of the highlights of the Great Western Greenway is the stunning views of Clew Bay. The bay is home to over 300 small islands, and visitors can take a boat tour to explore some of the islands and learn about the local history and wildlife.
Another highlight of the trail is the 764-meter-long Newport Viaduct, which was built in 1892. The viaduct is the longest and tallest structure on the trail and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
The Great Western Greenway is a stunning trail that offers visitors a unique and unforgettable experience of the natural beauty and rich history of County Mayo. Whether you choose to cycle or walk the trail, you will be rewarded with stunning views, diverse wildlife, and a true sense of peace and tranquility.