Hiking Trails in Galway

Hiking Trails in Galway

We here at This is Galway are all about getting out, seeing and exploring the beautiful and diverse landscapes of Galway. In other to share with you our favourite hiking trails and roads to get lost down, we have compiled a list of hiking and walking trails varying in difficulties, easy, moderate and hard, that all showcase the many different beautiful sights and sceneries of Galway.

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Kylemore Abbey

An hour-long trail on the easier side, this trail offers all walkers beautiful views of Kylemore Abbey and is an out and back loop walk of Letterfrack. The trail is open all year round and is a great trail for some solitude during the quieter months. Although there is an admission fee to access the estate, there are plenty of fascinating attractions to explore as you go. To see the different routes that the trails at Kylemore Abbey consists of please hit the link here.

above: photo courtesy of Kylemore Abbey

The Marconi Loop Walk to Lough Emlaghnabehy

A dog friendly trail, the Marconi loop walk to Lough Emlaghnabehy is the perfect trail to explore during summer months. It's just under 5km and is suitable for both running or walking. The trail is marked with signs and throughout the trail is information about the fauna and flora of the Derrigimlagh bogland and includes passing by the historic Macroni Station and the Alcock and Brown Crash Landing Site.

Sruffaunboy Nature Trail in Connemara National Park

This is one of the shorter routes on the list as it takes only 29 minutes to complete! Popular all year round, families and their pets are all welcome to enjoy a slow meander along this trail. Situated in the beautiful landscape around the mountains and fields of Connemara National Park, we highly recommend bringing a camera along with you on this walking loop.

Cúirt Literary Trail

This literary trail is something a bit different to offer visitors. Starting in Galway's city centre at University of Galway, the trail leads you out along the sea coast following a literary treasure hunt of bronze plaques with poetry and prose by well known poets. The poetry along the trail emulates the surrounding natural scenery.  It's a great route to do with a coffee as it will give you the chance to see more of Galway city while learning something new!

Salthill Promenade

A favourite amongst those living in Galway city and Salthill, Salthill's famous Promenade is flat paved and provides plenty of picturesque sights. Beginning from the edge of the city centre, The Prom is a 2km walk overlooking Galway Bay ending at the iconic yellow Blackrock Diving Tower. As tradition be sure to kick the wall by the Diving Tower when your walk is completed. Along the route you can see The Famine Ship Memorial, Mutton Island Lighthouse, Salthill's many beaches, and when the sky is clear, idyllic views of the Clare Hills beyond.

above: photo courtesy of Galway Atlantaquaria

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Lower & Upper Diamond Hill Loop Walk

Approximately 7km in length, this trail is of moderate difficulty and popular amongst all those looking to immerse themselves in the beauty of Connemara National Park. The walk offers unparalleled views of the Twelve Pins and Kylemore Abbey and the views from the top are truly spectacular. The trail is well marked and dog-friendly with wooden platforms and rock steps from most of the route.

Hike to Maumahoge Lake in The Maumturks

A moderately difficult three to four hour mountain hike in the wild Maumturks range in Leenane, the end result is well worth the effort it takes to get there! Featuring the stunning mountain saddle corrie lake of Maumahoige, your walk will take past streams and waterfalls with breath-taking views of the mountain pecks. This up and back trail can be a bit rocky so a good level of fitness is needed.

Errisbeg Mountain

Starting in Roundstone village, this route has no clear trail so if you're not comfortable navigating on your own we recommend giving it a miss especially if you are solo! If you are comfortable going off the beaten track this hike is extremely rewarding. The exceptional panoramic views notably includes Dog's Bay Beach, the Twelve Pins and the islands off the coast. It is rated moderately difficult and please bring along a map if you are unfamiliar with the area.

above: photo courtesy of Tourism Ireland 

Level of Difficulty: Hard

Binn Bhán

Not one for the dogs or the faint of heart, the Binn Bhán trail is one of the more challenging routes as it involves scaling the tallest peak in Galway. Situated at the centre of the Twelve Pins range, if you want to feel like your on top of the world (or at least on top of Galway) it's well worth giving it a go. At the top you'll be able to bask in views of the expansive landscape of Connemara National Park and surrounding countryside. Tip: we suggest doing this walk in warmer months as in the winter the trail is boggy and can be difficulty to navigate.

Benlettery and Bengower Loop Walk

A challenging route with rocky terrain and not much signage, the Benlettery and Bengower Loop Walk is a steady, steep ascent up two of Galway's famous Twelve Pins: Benlettery and Bengower. On a clear day, as you travel along this trail, you'll notice that the views down to the valley below with its loughs, surrounding mountains, and Atlantic Oceans are honestly spectacular. Tip: we suggest refraining from doing this trail in any sort of wet weather due to danger of slippery surfaces and to bring a buddy. Hiking is always more fun with someone else.

Glencoaghan Horseshoe Loop Walk

Only for experienced hiker, the Glencoaghan Loop is an exciting trail traversing six out of the Twelve Bens. This is a challenging 16km trail and includes lots of rough terrain and lack of clear paths. A highly challenging walk, it is often considered to be one of the most difficult trails in Ireland so bring your fitness enthusiastic friends and prepare in advance.

Galway Walking Groups:

If you're looking to get into walking/hiking but would prefer to do it as part of a group, here are a few Galway Walking Group to start you out on your hiking journey. Feel free to let us know if we missed out on any!

Galz Gone Wild

A girl group with a simple mission: to reconnect women and nature through hikes, adventures, getaways, workshops and events! Galz Gone Wild is a group that is all about inclusivity and positivity and are a great place to start your walking and adventure journey. They regularly get together for walks, events and more so if you want to discover more about what they do please see here.

above: photo courtesy of Galz Gone Wild 

Galway Bay Hill Walking Club

This club is all about fostering a community that enjoys walking and nature. The Galway Bay Hill Walking Club also has courses that you can do, such as first aid, that are part of the group activities. If you'd like to check this group in depth have a look HERE as they are always welcoming new members and would love have you join them.

Greylakes Ramblers

A Loughrea based walking club that meets every weekend during the summer and every second weekend in winter. The walks they do range from easy, moderate and hard so it is open to everyone and all fitness levels. Take a look HERE to see if you are interested in what they do.

Galway Walking Club

With weekly walks, as well as events such as barbecues, trips abroad and weekends away The Galway Walking Club is the perfect group where you can meet like-minded people who love nature. This groups welcomes people of all ages so take a look HERE to learn more about what they are about.

If you'd prefer or are interest in seeing Galway from the seat of a bike, be sure to hit the link HERE and check out our recommendations of where to go in Galway to avail of Bike Rentals and the top Cycle Trails. 

Feature photo courtesy of Kylemore Abbey

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