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2010-03-01 14:23:00
Bangor Trail - Bangor Erris to Newport
The Bangor Trail starts in Bangor Erris, Co Mayo and finishes in Newport, Co Mayo. The trail is 22miles long. Both Discovery Series No. 23 and 31 together cover the complete trail.

The Bangor Trail is an ancient and much trodden path, that can be started in either Bangor Erris or Newport. We started in Bangor Erris (F 862 229), leaving the Hillcrest B&B, at eight o’clock after a warm breakfast.

We strolled down by a dance hall, over a bridge and turned left after GAA dressing rooms. The morning had clear skies and the trail became evident on the Knocklettercuss Mountain, a continuous groove stretching across the side of the mountain.

After an hour into the trail, civilisation had disappeared, with us being enveloped by natural surroundings. Atlantic winds cris-crossed our path and mountain sheep watched with curiosity, occasionally darting away higher into the hills. Carnivorous plants and heather were dominant along the trail and I could imagine the full bloom of wild flowers in the summer months.

We crossed a footbridge adjacent to an old stoned house. The Tarsaghaunmore River was clear and we topped up our water bottles. A tributary of the Tarsaghaunmore River was the setting for our elevenses. Sitting on the banks, the stream gently negotiating rocks and falls provided the only sound. Tranquillity at its best.

We traversed along the side of the Tawnyruddia mountain, where the views were heavenly splendid - the vast expansive bog, Nephin Beg and Glennamong in view. It rained heavily and the trail became soggy.

We ate lunch on the slopes of Nephin Beg (F 920 090), rain drops battering at our faces. The Nutella was frozen and difficult to spread, and so chunks wrapped in slices of brown bread were made. We joked and called them “Nutella Wraps”. The view was exceptional, bringing back memories of other favourite trails in New Zealand and Australia.

After lunch we continued on the trail, and encountered a planted forest at the juncture joining both the Western Way and the Bangor Trail. The conditions of the path improved and we continued at a steady pace, until joining the main road.

The final third of the trail is mostly tarred road with one detour after Srahmore Lodge but the views continued to be spectacular. We witnessed Lough Feeagh as a beautiful clear lake with the Ben Gorm slopes mirrored on its surface.

It was dark when we arrived in Newport at 19.00hrs. The Hillcrest B&B Hostess collected us at the bridge (L 983 938). We were delighted that such a service was available enabling us to complete the whole Bangor trail without the need for two cars or a taxi.

Overall, we feel tremendously uplifted after walking the trail. It showed us a side of Ireland we hadn’t seen before and hopefully we will see again shortly.
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