Suck Valley Way

Walking
County Roscommon
4.7/5
5 reviews
Grade Moderate
Length 105 km
Time 5 days
Format Loop
Ascent 580 m
Dogs Allowed No
Waymarking Yellow arrow on black background
Start Point
Castlerea
Finish Point
Castlerea
Nearest Town to Start Castlerea
Grid Ref. M 679 793
Lat. and Long. 53.52382, -8.3227

The River Suck drains Lough O’Flynn, 7km west of the town of Castlerea, County Roscommon, and flows through sweeping meanders and past many little islands to reach the Shannon a kilometre below Shannonbridge. The Suck Valley Way is a circular route that runs up the west side of the Suck from Mount Talbot to the outskirts of the town of Castlerea and returns, with one brief interruption, down the east side, taking in ‘The Nine Friendly Villages’, Ballygar, Creggs, Glinsk, Ballymoe, Ballintubber, Dunamon, Castlecoote, Athleague and Mount Talbot. The landscape is a typical river valley one of bogs, callows, woods and unspoilt traditional farmland of many tiny fields, and makes for wonderful and varied low-land walking. The terrain consists of a pleasant mix of cross-country paths through fields and woods, quiet side roads and there are a number of stretches along the banks of the river itself. As is common with countryside that has not been agriculturally over-developed, there is a rich heritage of the remains of monuments and buildings of the past to be enjoyed along the route, including ringforts, castles, ancient churches; you can’t miss the unique La Tène Stone, an ovoid boulder of granite richly carved and dating from the Iron Age, close to the route at Castlestrange. To add to the pleasure of this route, the frequent villages provide plenty of opportunities for relaxing along the way. The route can be subject to flooding so please check locally. See The Suck Valley Way website www.suckvalleywaywalk.ie for more details.

Trail Management

Eilish Canty – Rural Recreation Officer

Unit 12 Tower B
Roscommon West Business Park
Golf Links Road
Roscommon.
Mob: 086 7713550
Landline: 0906 630252
E-mail: rro@ridc.ie

Facilities

Car parking
At Start/Finish - on street in Castlerea

37 kms or 35% of this route follows local roads.

***Dogs are not permitted on the Suck Valley Way Walk***

Map Guides

Map Guides

None available at present

OSI Maps

OSI Maps

Discovery Series Sheets 39 and 40
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

At Castlrea: Daily express bus service and local service. Check details at Bus Eireann.
Also daily train service - check details at Check with Irish Rail.
Flights to Ireland West Airport Knock, 30mins drive away. Check details at www.irelandwestairport.com.

5 trail reviews
4.7/5
Write your own review of this trail
5/5
11/17/2018

Bryce Beasley from United States

Absolutely amazing trail. This last summer was my second time out on it, and it was just as breathtaking as the first. I was at first a little disappointed when I first travelled to Ireland, as the stories I had heard passed down from my Grandma did not prepare me for the bustling cities of Dublin and Galway. I quickly changed my tune when I set foot on the picturesque trail that is the Suck Valley Way. I felt as if I was strolling through a timeless landscape, that my ancestors had trekked across. The trail takes you to some gorgeous historical sites along the way, including Ballintubber Castle, Castlecoote House, Clonalis House (where the trail began for me) and Donamon Castle. These were all great places to stop and see and I most certainly look forward to setting foot on this trail again, as I consider it a verdant and alluring hiking path.
4/5
04/11/2016

steve from Galway

A couple of years ago my wife and I did a long 40+ km day on the southern end of the Suck Valley Way, looping up from Ballygar, crossing the river at Dunamon and returning on the eastern side through Castlecoote and Athleague.

I returned last week to finish the remaining 65km of the route in 2 days, overnighting in Castlerea.

The weather was perfect, dry and mostly sunny with crisp clear mornings. The recent floods, which would make much of the route impassible (although there are a couple of signed alternatives), had receded and although there was still a lot of wet ground good boots and gaiters made it doable.There are a lot of old stiles and wooden footbridges over the multitude of drains as this Way crosses a refreshingly large amount of farmland, and there seems to be a necessary programme ongoing to replace these with metal ones.

Good signage and pretty flat ground made for easy going and the quiet deeply rural nature of this backwater trail is a pleasure.

Not dramatic, not demanding but still rewarding. I'd say it would be even nicer when all the lush water meadows and boreen hedgerows are in full bloom.

The peace of the boglands, stillness of the woods and the history in the settlements all make for a varied walk that could be done in 4 days.

But WHEN are we going to be able to take our dogs (on leads) on these lovely walks?

Photos and story of my hike can be found on the blog: stevebarhamramblingman.wordpress.com
5/5
10/07/2015

Kathleen from Roscommon

Very enjoyable, great facility for families, well sign-posted,
04/11/2013

Doug ay NTO from Dublin

Hi Pierre.



This is Doug from the National Trails Office here - Thanks for letting us know about your findings with the signage on the Suck Valley Way. I have passed your comments on to the Rural Recreation Officer responsible for this area. If you have any photos of the problem feel free to email them to - nto@irishsportscouncil.ie. If you do that we can respond to you directly then also. The Trail Review facility is not really designed for correspondence.
04/10/2013

Pierre from France

Today I let two visitors from France walk the Suck Valley Way from Ballymoe to Castlerea. They left their car at end of the route near the Connacht Gold branch in Castlerea and I dropped them off at Ballymoe with map I downloaded from Irish Trails. They enjoyed the walk through bog and country roads until they came to a T junction in the walk at Cloondacarra near the railway crossing near Castlerea.
From photos they have taken I could see the mistake in the signs. There is a directional sign for Castlerea. As this is also part of the Suck Valley Way should this sign not read Suck Valley Way - Castlerea. The other sign points in the Ballintubber direction and this sign is ok but then there is no sign pointing back towards the Ballymoe direction,which is also part of the Suck Valley Way. Close by this marker is a black marker with the Yellow Man symbol this has arrows that are left and right as this is a T junction is this ok ? I think not. My French visitors continued on their walk to about Toberkeagh near Ballintober and also made the mistake of not following the map I had given and going back in answer to this they said they thought the marking was ok .
What had been an enjoyable 10 km turned out to be a 20 km walk which they described as terrible .Please take this up with local caretaking bodies .

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