Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail

County Mayo
1 review
Grade Strenuous
Length 59.9 km
Am 3 days
Format Linear
Ascent 310 m
Dogs Allowed No
Waymarking Yellow arrow on black background
Start Point
Finish Point
Nearest Town to Start Balla
Grid Ref. M 255 845 / L 919 817
Lat. and Long. 53.80467, -9.13093 / 53.77363, -9.63981

The dazzling quartzite pyramid of Croagh Patrick (764m), which dominates the land south of Clew Bay in the west of Ireland, has been a holy mountain since before Christian times. Ireland's fifth-century patron saint, St Patrick, is said to have made it his own when he fasted on its summit for forty days, and ever since it has been an important place of Christian pilgrimage: over 15,000 pilgrims climb to the top every year on the last Sunday of July each year, traditionally known as €˜Reek Sunday'. The Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail is a 61 km linear walking route that extends from the village of Balla in County Mayo, an early Christian monastic site with a broken round tower, to the village of Murrisk, site of a 15th century Augustinian friary, at the foot of the mountain. The route follows parts of an old pilgrim route as it wanders through the rural landscape of west Mayo towards the holy mountain, passing by a rich heritage of monuments and buildings including early churches, holy wells and castles. Walkers may want to linger in the village of Aghagower, a monastic site where they will find a 12th century church and the remains of another round tower, and at the Clogher Heritage Centre which includes a working blacksmith's forge. Also along the route is Brackloon Wood, a rare oakwood, and a survivor from the time when much of Ireland was covered with such trees. The terrain consists mainly of stone-walled quiet side roads, forestry tracks, field paths and open moorland (some of which can be wet). The aggregate climb over the whole route is about 300 metres, most of which is at the end of the route. For more information follow link and

Trail Management

Clogher Environmental Group, Clogher Community Centre, Claremorris, Mayo, F12 EK24. Tel: 094 93 60891 Email:


Car parking
At Start - on street in the square in Balla
At End - in car park for Croagh Patrick in Murrisk

There may be waymarking, trail surface and trail furniture issues at some points along the trail.
***Dogs not permitted on the Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail***

Map Guides

Map Guides

None Available

OSI Maps

OSI Maps

Discovery Series Sheets 31 and 38 (*finishes on edge of 30)

PMac from Dublin

We walked this trail over 3 days during Easter 2015 in lovely spring weather. I would recommend it as a varied, interesting and accessible walk. We overnighted in Claremorris and got a lift ("taxi") to the starting point in Balla. Day 1 consisted of a relaxing walk mainly across rolling farmland and off-road paths from Balla to Ballintubber, where we stayed in Walsh's B&B just up from the impressive abbey. Day 2 proved more taxing as we clocked close to 30km on more hilly terrain to get to the Westport Country Lodge in Aughagower - this involved a 3km-4km detour from the trail on a pretty busy road at the end of the day that could be avoided if a pick-up was arranged in advance. Day 3 to Murrisk was again hilly and involved more tarmac than previously but roads were quiet and the scenery impressive. Unfortunately the last few kilometers across open mountain-side on the lower slopes of Croagh Patrick were at odds with the rest of the trail and proved difficult as we had to cross numerous mountain streams with very wet underfoot conditions. Despite this somewhat unpleasant last stretch we thoroughly enjoyed our 3 days' walking and would highly recommend the trail! Trail infrastructure (signage and stiles etc) was good - please note the trail criss-crosses but is not the same as the Croagh Patrick pilgrimage route.

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