Mid Clare Way - Slí na Mearacaun

County Clare
3 reviews
Grade Moderate
Length 143.9 km
Time 6 days
Format Loop
Ascent 1620 m
Dogs Allowed No
Waymarking Yellow arrow on black background
Start Point
Newmarket on Fergus - Public car park beside the Catholic Church
Finish Point
Newmarket on Fergus - Public car park beside the Catholic Church
Nearest Town to Start Newmarket on Fergus
Grid Ref. R 39705 68096
Lat. and Long. 52.76089, -8.8942

With the Burren Way to the north and the East Clare Way to the east, the Mid Clare Way, called in Gaelic Slí na Mearacan or the foxglove way, is a 130km long circular walking route around the centre of County Clare in the west of Ireland, with the county capital, the busy and picturesque town of Ennis, at its centre. The route touches on the Burren to the north and the broad Shannon Estuary to the south. Terrain on the route consists mainly of quiet tarmac side roads and farm roads with only brief sections on forestry tracks and through fields. Overnight accommodation possibilities are good, but in some areas the only available options are off-route. Aggregate ascent over the whole route is about 1600m, and the highest point the route reaches is just below the summit of the wooded hill of Ben Dash, west of the River Fergus estuary, at 267 metres. The amount of tarmac to be followed is well made up for by the large number of holy wells, killeens, stone forts, castles and ancient churches passed along the way. Walkers may want to linger, in particular, to enjoy the treasury of rich heritage around Dysert O'Dea Castle, where there is a good history and archaeology centre open to the public, and the beautiful Quin Abbey, dating from 1350.

Trail Management

Clare Walks, Main Street, Tulla, Co. Clare, V95 C4E0.
Email: info@clarewalks.ie
Web: www.clarewalks.ie
Web: www.clarewalks.ie


Car parking
At Start - on street or in car parks in Newmarket on Fergus
At End - on street or in car parks in Newmarket on Fergus

96 kms or 65% of the Way follows local roads. Waymarking issues + Trail Surface issues + Trail Furniture issues.
***Dogs not permitted on the Mid Clare Way***

Map Guides

Map Guides

The Mid Clare Way Sli na Mearacan Walkers Map Guide and An illustrated guide to the Long Distance Walking Route - publushed by EastWest Mapping for Mid Clare Way Ltd

OSI Maps

OSI Maps

Discovery Series Sheets 52, 58 and 59
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

3 trail reviews
Write your own review of this trail

Amy from Clare

My next two days of the Mid-Clare Way took me from Ballinruan to Garrynagry. Day 3 (Ballinruan to just south of Corofin) was again mainly road bar a section at Lahardan which requires walking boots. Day 4 (on to Garrynagry) proved eventful. Boots are needed as a number of sections were particularly wet under foot (Medieval path at Dysert, fields on the approach to the N85, approach to Shailee Castle, farm fields (watch out they may be overgrown) in the vicinity of Garrynagry). Signage appears to be missing (or maybe vegetation is covering it) in one of the fields on the approach to the N85. However, the signage when you exit the farm at Garrynagry caused me to go astray. The lady of the house did inform me to turn right, however the yellow man sign said left and so I followed the yellow man sign - big mistake! I've learnt my lesson particularly in relation to always consulting the map as you cannot be guaranteed the signage is accurate. That being said, Day 4 is probably my favourite section so far as there are a few off road sections which were really nice.
Distances to assist:
Ballinruan - south of Corofin(R476) 25km
R476 - Garrynagry - 13km

Amy from Clare

This trail had been on my list for a while and I eventually took the bull by the horns. My plan is to undertake the trail over a number of Saturdays and at this stage I have walked from Newmarket on Fergus to Ballinruan (2 days). The trail so far has been mainly on the road /forest track (99%) except for a very wet and boggy section in the vicinity of Ballinruan. Signage is good apart from a discrepancy between the tourist signage and the yellow man signage around Derryheena. The maps don't have the specific distances so this might help you decide to do a particular section:
Newmarkert on Fergus - Quin 10km
Quin - O'Brien's Big Lough 19km
O'Brien's Big Lough - Ballinruan 20km

Maurice from Galway

We have been doing this walk in stages over the past two years completing a stage each Spring and Autumn. We began at Spancil Hill to enter the walk at a convenient location for us. On reflection it has been a delight at every stage and a wonderful surprise to my co-walker Tony Murphy and I. We have been surprised at the beauty and remoteness of the walk at times, given its close proximity to the large town of Ennis.We have encountered numerous castles, churches, round towers, ancient burial mounds, ring forts, viewing points and fairytale cottages.This past weekend we set off from (Kilnamona) Cill Na Moná (The church of the bogland) to walk to (Connolly) Fíoch Rúa Red Townland . Our first stop was Shalee castle. A wizard who lived in Shalee castle was so pestered by his wife that he flew away with half the tower. We trekked on and were met by a local farmer watching for the birth of spring lambs. She remarked that she might be up for the night and bid us farewell. Back off the road through well marked fields and sturdy stiles which are also well maintained and into the farmyard of one of the locals who was involved in the formation of the route. She and her husband were moving feed for cattle and were delighted to see us on the trail. She told us that it is hugely underused and we were two of 11 walkers over the past number of years. She gave us a tour of the Motte above her house and spoke lovingly of the beauty of the surrounding area. Tea was offered but declined and off we went through her front gate. An encounter we won't forget for a while. A few KMs up the road we were so taken by two ceramic cats on a gate we missed a waypoint and walked for about an hour off route. We enquired of a local lady with a garden full of kids where we were and she enlisted a post. We were offered a lift back to the point where we made our error and off we went again. A slight detour and around Lough Burke and on to tarmac roads to home. We stayed with the road to Connolly and met another lady walker who engaged us in chat about local walks and told us if we needed a cuppa to drop in to her house on the way down and those within would see us right. Both of us were very taken by the hospitality of the locals, their openness and generosity. To miss these delights would be a shame to anyone in the local area looking for good walks with hidden treasures. Next up is Connolly to Letteragh, Maurice Healy.

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