Pictures from Cong Lakes Walks

Here are some pictures from our lovely weekend of walking around the shores of Loughs Corrib and Mask last week. We were blessed with the weather, only being subjected to two showers. Both of them hit us when on the first walk and pretty much under trees, so their effect on morale was nil.

Please scroll down below the pictures for upcoming dates of these guided walking events.

Our next Cong Lakes Walks events take place on the following dates :

Thu June 10 thru Sun June 13.

Bank holiday weekend, Fri July 30 thru Mon August 2.

Mon August 9 thru Thu August 12.

Thu September 23 thru Sun September 26.

Thu October 14 thru Sun October 17

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A Great Weekend in Cong

I enjoyed the company of a really great group of walkers over the bank holiday weekend around Cong.

We completed three days of walking, with just two showers on the Saturday interrupting an otherwise glorious sun-drenched weekend. Cong was seen in all its splendour, with great séisiúns in both Lydon’s and Danagher’s pubs and many walkers commenting on the spotlessly clean state of the lovely village.

We walked a total of around 6 hours on Saturday, followed by 5 on both Sunday and Monday. I’ll post some pics later on.

The area around Cong and Clonbur villages on the Galway Mayo border is ideal for walking, boasting native and mixed woodland, the two great lakes of Corrib and Mask, limestone pavement, like that of The Burren, a nice small mountain with fabulous views in all directions and possibly the prettiest village in Ireland.

Walking the Clonbur Cong Linear Trail

Here is a video I took a few weeks back of the pleasant linear hiking trail, entirely off-road, between the villages of Clonbur and Cong, on the Galway Mayo border.

This walk, combining native and conifer woodland, as well as caves, ruined castle, wetlands and lakeshore habitats, takes around 3 to 4 hours, at a casual pace.

Why not join me for Cong Lakes Walks, a three-day walking event down in this beautiful and tranquil area.

Walking The Cong Clonbur Isthmus

I have written before about Coillte’s native woodland restoration project at Clonbur Wood, on the Galway Mayo border. I’ve been walking down around Cong and Clonbur for maybe 14 years, often lamenting the overly dense conifer plantations on vast tracts of the old Guinness estate.

But with the advent of the woodland project, the area is already beginning to be even more attractive as a walking destination than it already was.

Cong boasts wonderful sights for walkers, including the (in)famous dry canal, a failed 19th Century engineering project. You can walk the ‘bed’ of the canal and take in small roadways between the village and Loughs Corrib and Mask. Find a lime kiln in excellent condition, or the various sinks in the highly porous limestone rock that provides the sponge linking the two lakes.

Good hill climbing in the area includes the formidable Maumtrasna mountain to the north, or the more easy going Benlevy, in between the two, which offers superb views over both huge lakes.

But the special walk here is the entirely off-road linear between Clonbur and Cong. It’s about 8 to 9 km long, but will take you up to 4 hours, at a leisurely pace. This walk, well sign-posted, will bring you through both conifer plantation and new regeneration areas, past the ruined Ballykine Castle, lost in a beech wood, alongside a beautiful little bay of Lough Mask, which Mute Swans share with Mallards, Tufted Duck and others and onto the amazing lakeshore limestone pavement. Visit Pigeon Hole sink and enjoy the wetlands of the Cong River. Here you might see some of the resident Grey Herons, or visiting Cormorants. Emerge into Cong at the Abbey and Monk’s Fishing House.

2010 sees me hosting three-day walking events in Cong and Clonbur, in association with a local B&B.