Miner's Way & Historical Trail

Walking
County Sligo
4.4/5
10 reviews
Grade Strenuous
Length 118 km
Time 5 days
Format Loop
Ascent 2340 m
Dogs Allowed No
Waymarking Yellow arrow on black background
Start Point
Arigna
Finish Point
Dowra
Nearest Town to Start Keadew
Grid Ref. G 928 141
Lat./Lon. 54.07591, -8.11

The Arigna Mines in County Leitrim in the north midlands of Ireland were exploited for over four hundred years to extract iron and coal. The village of Arigna was the centre of the industry, and the Miner’s Way and Historical Trail is a 118km-long figure-of-eight walking route that starts and ends at Arigna. The route is a varied one that manages to touch on three lakes, Lough Allen, Lough Arrow and Lough Key and crosses three low mountain ranges, Corry Mountain, the Curlew Mountains and the Bricklieve Mountains. Other attractions that may tempt walkers to linger along the way include the Arigna Mining Experience, an interpretative centre for the mines and their history, the 12th century Cistercian Boyle Abbey, and Carrowkeel Neolithic cemetery, which consists of fourteen passage graves topped by stone cairns dating from around 3,000 BC. The route is a complex one that requires constant vigilance for waymarks. Many of the entrances to the old network of underground mines remain open on the hillsides around: they are dangerous and should be avoided. The terrain on the route consists mainly of a variety of quiet tarmac roads, paths across fields, open (and often wet) moorland and forestry paths. The aggregate ascent over the entire route is about 2,600 metres. Overnight accommodation is good in the area.

Trail Management

Miners Way & Historical Trail Committee, c/o Patricia Golden, Una Bhan Tourism, Boyle, Co Rosommon,
Tel: 071-9663033
Web: The Miners Way & Historical Trail

Facilities

Car parking
At Start - large car parking area near pub at start of Way in Arigna
At End - on street in Drumshanbo or at Sliabh an Iarainn Visitor Centre

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE SECTION OF THE MINERS WAY BETWEEN GLEN CHURCH AND THE PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE OVER THE ARIGNA RIVER IS CLOSED FROM 2ND NOVEMBER 2018 UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE TO FACILITATE TREE FELLING AND TRAIL REHABILITATION WORKS. APOLOGIES FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE CAUSED.
60 kms or 51% of the Way follows local roads. There may be some issues with waymarking at some points along the trail.
***No dogs permitted on any section of the Miner’s Way & Historical Trail which crosses farmland except for the section beyond the Organic Centre at Knockvicar through the bog towards Clontykilla Castle and on through Coillte property where dogs under effective control are allowed” ***

Have a look at this short video about the trail

For Further information on the Miner's Way & Historical Trail

Map Guides

Map Guides

The Miner’s Way & Historical Trail Map Guide - published by EastWest Mapping on behalf of Leitrim, Roscommon and Sligo County Councils

OSI Maps

OSI Maps

Discovery Series Sheets 25, 26 and 33
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

At Start: None. At End: Very limited bus service Check with Bus Eireann.

10 trail reviews
4.4/5
Write your own review of this trail
4/5
08/26/2019

Evelyn Cafferty from Leitrim

3 of us walked from drumshanbo to arigna and onto keadue and finished with fab food in Knockvicar - Tara Marina. Terrific day out. One critaism is at Arigna Miners experience. At that stage you can either head the keadue/boyle direction or the corrie mountain way and signage not clear. Staff at visitors centre not aware if which route either. Lucky toss of coin and took right route
5/5
08/26/2019

Liz from Leitrim

We walked the section from Ballyfarnon to Ballinafad, its all been newly signed as it is part of the Breara Brefni way, and the signing is excellent. This is a wonderful section, lots of off road walking, and when on roads they are tiny country lanes. Lunch was at Castlebaldwin and really hit the spot. Then over the stretch by Carrowkeel all this section had stunning views, but the views all day had been pretty impressive. This is a section we would walk again and would bighly recommend to anyone wanting to get a feel for this part of Ireland.
05/29/2019

Ann from Leitrim

I followed the trail from Drumkeerin to Drumshanbo. Took 7 1/2 hrs with lots of stops at various points of interest including Scardan Waterfall, Arigna Mining Centre, Arigna Chapel and Reynolds shop in Arigna for a welcome cup of tea at 20km! I was really impressed by the number and accuracy of marker posts AND the quality of stiles, weighted gates and tracks. Well done to whoever maintains them - Leitrim/Roscommon's very own Camino! This first experience of the Miners' Way has been very positive, and has me motivated to try other stages.
4/5
05/22/2018

Dana from Cork

After a few rainy days, we were looking to do one days walking on another wet day while trying to avoid muddy paths (we just had runners, not hiking shoes/boots), we decided Lough Key forest park was the safest (driest) place to start. It worked out well - we walked towards Knockvicar and managed to get 6.5km (all on very very quiet country roads/paths with good surface) before the puddles got a bit much for us and we decided to turn back (with reasonably dry feet). Well sign posted with yellow man symbol. Toilets and cafe at the start point in Lough Key (€4 parking charge). Also some trail maps available from The Lough Key visitors centre with shorter walks.
5/5
06/15/2015

Annabelle Windustries from Kildare

This is a tremendous walk. Credit to the folk behind it. Very well designed and signposted. We did two lovely days walking a loop from Drumshanbo, through Arigna, Keadue, Ballyfarnon, Carrane Hill and Corry Mountain back to Drumshanbo.



We were delighted with and surprised by the variety of landscapes and terrains. Camped in valley below Corry Mountain. One word of warning would be the old Irish midges. We went in June which is not a good time of year for them. Be warned and don't expect to eat your dinner or breakfast outside, unless you're happy to share your cereal with the hordes!



Hope to complete the rest this summer (insect repellent packed).



Overall a spiffing time had by all. Recommended for keen walkers.
4/5
07/19/2014

Carl from Roscommon

Have (so far) done most of the southern section of this trail.



Some sections of the trail, particularly between the Knockvicar organic garden and Crossna, are on very busy road and can be quite dangerous - there's very little in the way of verge, so you are forced to walk directly on the road, and drivers are often quite careless on country roads like this. Also on the section from Knockvicar to Keadue, a fair bit of the trail is quite overgrown and has some ankle-breaking ground. However, the brilliant lakeside walks at Lough Meelagh and at Forest Park, on either side of this section, make up for this, as does the Knockvicar Bog Walk, which is really fantastic.



If you only have a day to walk, I would recommend going Keadue - Arigna, or Boyle/Ballinafad - Castlebaldwin, stopping at either the Arigna Mining Centre or the Carrowkeel tombs. On a good day you'll have brilliant views, and on a bad day you'll have an adventurous but very achievable climb up a mountain in the rain.



Overall it's quite a nice trail, but could do with a little sprucing up.
5/5
10/27/2013

Bernie from United Kingdom

Did the circular section of this walk over 4 days in October



Day 1 Ballinafad to Ballyfarnon

Day2 Ballyfarnon to Keadue

Day3 Keadue to Lough Key

Day 4 Lough Key to Ballinafad



Over all the walk was very good although the first two days were long and the second day proved to be the hardest day's walking I've done this year as it was wet and windy. The trail is well marked and easy to follow thanks to the yellow man. I would recommend the trail to anyone. The tombs at Carrowkeel and Labby Rock being the outstanding monuments but there is so much more to see and mention here.
Email: ba,glynn@btinternet.com
4/5
10/11/2012

dominik from Germany

From Boyle to Castlebaldwin: The ground is very wet right from the beginning also on the small mountain. maybe some stones there would be a solution, because you get wet shoes from the beginning on. On the whole trail I was unable to find any bench to sit down and make a break.



From Castlebaldwin to Ballyfarnon: Again no benches and at the end near Ballyfarnon the whole way is very wet and you walk on the pure soil. I think there have been many cows on this way. You get very dirty shoes there.
4/5
06/01/2012

Swan from France

I walked the Historical Trail beginning at Cromloch Lodge Hotel .Good walk but there was a moment where I didn't see the yellow man directing left, past the Black Lake and White Lake to Kilmactranny where there is a school. When I arrived at this village I realised I'm not on the walk on looking at my map. I didn't return to the good walk. I continued on the road to Ballyfarnon. So after I rejoined the yellow man walk and after I returned to where I sleep I checked on the internet where I left the yellow man walk. I remembered I have seen this place but there is a trailer and big van and it is not possible to see the yellow man on the left. It is beatiful place but there is just that.
03/20/2012

Carey from Leitrim

I took the family for a walk this past weekend on the part of the Miner's Way between Arigna and Drumshanbo. The part of the walk we did was the part between the Mount Allen bridge and Arigna. The trail is really rough and mucky in places but it was well worth getting the walking boots muddy. There are some lovely views to be had along the trail. The interesting thing about this part of the trail is that it seems to follow the old train path that used to run from Arigna to Drumshanbo. This train was used to carry the coal from the Arigna mines down to Drumshanbo and onwards.



Saying the trail is mucky in places is probably an understatement. You want to have a good pair of waterproof boots otherwise you feet are going to get really wet. You could even wear a pair of wellies if they are comfortable enough for walking long distances.



There are numerous dry places along the way so bring some lunch. The trail seems to cross a lot of farming land. There seemed to be alot of cow hoof marks but I didn't see any livestock the day we were there. The trail meanders through the farmland and will bring you right up to Arigna village at the back of the coal processing plant up there. Nearer to the top of the trail you can see some old coal carts covered up by some high grass.



The trail is well marked and it's really obvious as the trail is built up on both sides. Like I said, this part of the trail seems to follow the old train tracks so it's still really obvious where the trail is.



It took about an hour and a bit to walk up and then a bit less time to walk back. We didn't go into Arigna village but the next time we go up we'll make sure we do that.



The thing I like about this trail is that it is rough. You get more a sense of exploration and we didn't see anybody else there that day so it's pretty quiet alright.

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