Venture to the majestic Ballynahinch Estate this summer season and explore the enchanting woodlands. Whether it is sunny or teeming with rain, Ballynahinch is a wondrous destination for locals and returning visitors. With over 6km of walking trails along the Ballynahinch River and Lake or Old Railway Line, there are walks to suit all abilities and interests. The riverside and lakeside walks twist along the water’s edge underneath towering ancient oak and beech trees, dwarfing the myriad of life on the woodland floor. Keep an eye out for the otter families, the iridescent kingfisher or the dipper diving underwater finding food for its young. Relax on the numerous benches and soak in the abundance of nature whilst watching salmon and trout leaping in the Owenmore River.
The Railway Loop, opened in 2011, follows the path of the now dismantled Galway to Clifden railway line before returning along the river to offer one of Ireland’s most sublime views of Ballynahinch Castle, proudly perched above the river, with Ben Lettery ever-present in the distance. The newly constructed boardwalk sections of pathway allow you to get close to the water’s edge without the need to wear anything more than a pair of outdoor shoes. Along the Loop you will pass the Ballynahinch Railway Station and platform, nestled within the captivating beauty of the native woodland.
Follow our Nature Trail and observe the areas of regenerating native woodland, cleared of Rhodendron ponticum. This invasive species, introduced to Connemara over 100 years ago, is having a far-reaching effect on our native woods by reducing the amount of light penetrating the woodland floor, thus not allowing young trees to grow. The ground’s staff at the Estate has cleared numerous acres over the past 10 years with very tangible results to date.
Following on for your adventures on the grounds, the Fisherman’s Pub in the hotel offers an extensive lunch menu of soup, chowder, sandwiches, seafood and a great deal more. Dine amongst the anglers and maybe you will see a fresh Atlantic salmon on the slab caught by one of the intrepid fly fishermen.
Guided walks are offered each morning at 10am by the hotel’s fully qualified and experienced on-site walking guide, offering the opportunity to visit the original Ballynahinch / O’Flaherty Castle on an island on Ballynahinch Lake. This walk offers a great insight in the rich and diverse history associated with Ballynahinch and its relationship with wider Connemara. Bookings are essential through the hotel reception, please call 095 31006.