Hymany Way

Walking
County Galway
2.8/5
9 reviews
Grade Easy
Length 90 km
Time 3.75 days
Format Linear
Dogs Allowed No
Waymarking Yellow arrow on black background
Start Point
Portumna Bridge
Finish Point
Ballygar
Nearest Town to Start Portumna
Grid Ref. M 865048 / M 787 526
Lat. and Long. 53.093560177804, -8.2009077072144 / 53.520688, -8.322499

The Hymany Way, one of a series of 11 sections of the greater Beara Breifne Way, goes in a northerly direction on the western side of the Shannon tracing the epic march of O Sullivan Bere from the Beara peninsula in January 1603 accompanied by 1,000 followers and reaching O'Rourke's Castle in Leitrim with only 35 people remaining. Of particular significance was the Shannon crossing in depths of winter.

The Hymany Way traverses the most beautiful and least explored of local areas with its watercourses, including the biodiversity of the Shannon River and the species rich mosaic of habitats along its banks, cutover and drained and raised bog, forest paths and quiet country roads. The Shannon Callows are famous for their birdlife with internationally important numbers of Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Reed Buntings, and Sedge Warblers. The Callows continues to hold over 40% of the Irish population of the globally endangered Corncrake.

The route takes in rich collections of features which will ensure that many walkers will want to linger along the way.

Adding enjoyment to the walk are interesting information panels at the Shannon Crossing, Blackloon Castle, Clonfert Cathedral, Meelick Abbey and St. Ruth's Bush, site of the Battle of Aughrim in 1691, the fiercest fight ever fought in Ireland's turbulent and bloody history.

At the start of the route, Portumna has ample accommodation both in hotels and guesthouses and at the end of the route in Aughrim accommodation is also available. Ballinasloe can be accessed by bus every half hour or alternatively there is a link into the town at Poolboy. Overnight accomodation is also available along the route in Meelick, Clonfert and Lismany.
Ballinasloe is now linked to the Shannon Waterway going directly to Portumna Harbour.

Trail Management

Aughrim Development Company Ltd.,
Aughrim,
Ballinasloe,
Co Galway
Email: hymanyway@gmail.com

Facilities

Car parking
At Start - at riverside in Portumna
At End - in Ballygar village

This is a farming area so watch out for livestock and electric fences in use at points along the trail.

Map Guides

Map Guides

The Beara-Breifne and Hymany Ways map guide

OSI Maps

OSI Maps

Discovery Series Sheet 40, 47 and 53
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

At Start: Bus Eireann and Kearns Transport serve Dublin and Galway twice daily, and a Local bus service serves the principal towns in the region at weekends.

At End: Buses go every half an hour to Dublin and Galway, and further links to anywhere in Ireland can be reached from those points by Bus Eireann and City Link.

Bus Eireann goes from Longford to Galway each day at 9.50am and returns at 6.00pm.

Boyle Coaches, a private operator, picks up in Ballygar 3 times daily and goes to Galway, returning in the evening.

Bus Eireann timetables available at www.buseireann.ie.

9 trail reviews
2.8/5
Write your own review of this trail
08/12/2019

Gino Kenny from Dublin

Done the Hymany Way over the August Bank holiday weekend. As an avid walker the way in places is extremely overgrown and not maintained properly. It’s a real pity as the walk itself is very interesting. I would suggest there is a review and inspection in some of the places where it’s problematic to walk.



Gino
1/5
07/29/2019

Mags from Clare

Sadly I already commented on this @ three weeks ago. There is no maintenance on the first part of this trail from Portumna to Clonfert. It has the potential to be a lovely trek but as the grass is so high you have to concentrate on each step and also in case you miss the yellow waymarkers. It makes it difficult to walk and you miss out on the peaceful surroundings. There is amazing biodiversivity here butterflies dragonflies etc. A narrow path cleared through the grass on top of the levy would make it a much more pleasant experience suitable for most abilities.
2/5
07/08/2019

Mags from Clare

A group of us from our walking club undertook a rekkie on this trail on Saturday last with a view to including it in our club walks over a weekend later in the summer. Sadly, the Shannon levy is very overgrown. I am not sure if there is an onus on the farmers to cut this or if it is the responsibility of the ESB. This walk has the potential to be a really enjoyable and interesting walk as it is perfect for children and for those who want a good walk without any climbs. Just outside Portumna heading to Muckanagh, the grass has grown over the YellowMan way sign so it is very easy to go astray. The grass is just too high in places again making it difficult at times to pick out the YellowMan signs. A simple mowed or strimmed single file track on top of the levy would be just perfect and not too invasive and probably not too difficult to achieve. On a positive note the biodiversity is absolutely alive there. We were thrilled with the amount of butterflies and dragon flies and numerous pleasant little insects who kept us company. Other than the few boats that were meandering up and down the river there was no one else out in this area which added to the peace and quiet. When we neared Meelick the Way is diverted due to some works being undertaken near the lock. the only other person we met, a local farmer George, was really helpful. Meelick church is the absolutely beautiful and well worth a visit.

To sum up the Hymany way from Portumna to Meelick, the only parts that were easy to travel comfortably were those areas grazed by the sheep. As we hadn't allowed for the extra time it took us to trudge through the high grass we had to defer the final part to Clonfert.

Full wet gear & gaiters are a must on this walk under the present conditions. Would not be inclined to recommend it unless there is something done about the overgrowth.
4/5
05/15/2018

Hugh from Fermanagh

Currently walking the River Shannon in stages. Joined Hymany Way at Mellick quay heading south. Lovely route with excellent waymarking. Grass on levy is well controlled in the northern section by sheep grazing. South of Tiranascragh beyond the pumping station to Portumna grass is knee length currently.
07/26/2017

Sam from Dublin

I have just walked part of the trail in sections over the last few weeks and found the path from Portumna to Meelick to be somewhat difficult at times but passable while the sheep helped a lot. The minor roads made for pleasant walking however the cross country sections were different - managed to navigate the first cross country section at Roonan but gave up when I reached the main road and continued that section by road. Having rejoined the way the section at Cankilly was much better. It was the section between the byroad at Clonfert and Coolcarta that really proved a problem and took every once of navigational skill to compleate, the problem is mainly in the forest - markers and paths are missing in places - terrain difficult to say the least - a big effort not for the faint hearted but I reached the bog road at Kylemore and will be back to soldier on but will be wary of the cross counrty sections
05/06/2017

Niall Limerick from Limerick

Walked this trail from Portumna to Meelick today and was extremely disappointed. It was hard, extremely hard. The track is not maintained there was grass up to my knees. In fact its difficult to find a track at all in a lot of places and in others you'll be lucky if the sheep have worn the grass a little. Luckily it has been extremely dry lately. If it had been wet it would have been even more difficult. There's a good chance of spraining an ankle on the lumpy rough ground that is not visible through the grass.



This trail is unused at 2 Km outside Portumna which is surprising as it has great potential. There was no sign anyone was walking this. What a shame. Perhaps it should be covered in a hard sandy surface to make it more usable. As it stands it is not suitable for anyone other than extreme hikers.
5/5
06/29/2016

Paddy from Galway

We regret very much that Emilia from Poland found the section of the Hymany Way between Portumna and Meelick to be so badly overgrown. We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused and have taken the necessary steps to address the issues raised. The grass has since been cut.
2/5
06/12/2016

Emilia from Poland

Walked it from Portumna to Meelick at the beginning of June. Expected a lengthy but easy enough walk by the river but due to lack of maintainance it was quite hard. While I was entering Hymany Way in Portumna it looked pretty well maintained for about 2-3km; after a while grass was very overgrown (up to my waist at times). As I didn't enjoy walking through the nettles and thistles I gave up on the part I was more excited about and joined the cycling route on the back roads for half of it - which was nice but not quite what I hoped for.Tried to approeach the missed part from the Meelick side but same story- not really fit for walking. There is track going next to it which helps. Also signs still up, I guess from winter, prohibiting the entrance due to wildlife breeding season. Beautiful area but either the walkers should be made aware this is not as easy as it is advertised or it should be maintained in better condition.
3/5
07/09/2015

Denis from Westmeath

The Hymany Way sounded exciting, 90k from Portumna, so we decided that we would do it. Every trekker wants to tick off the waymarked routes (Wicklow Way, Grand Canal Way, Slieve Bloom Way etc) but as a lack of camping/caravan parks along the route meant that we could only do it as day trekkers.

We decided to do it in 10k +/- stages, looping back to our car by minor roads. Average 20k loop, nice walk.

We found that the first two stages along the levy from Portumna were very overgrown. (June/July 2015) with not a lot to see and not much conversation as we were trekking like ducks (one behind the other).

The best part of the first two sections (Portumna to Meelick) was the minor roads back to the car. Lovely peaceful place if you can hack your way through the meadows of thistles and long grass on the levy but the minor roads in the area are a trekker’s paradise.

Meelick to Clonfert is more minor road than levy but we chose to come away from the trail here and traverse the bog on the route of the now filled in Ballinasloe branch of the Grand Canal.

My opinion is that, yes, it is a nice trail but could be so much nicer with a little upkeep on the first 20 kilometres, and maybe use the Ballinasloe Canal as part of the route.

I understand that it is a historical route but... trekkers want to walk side by side and talk as they walk.

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