North Clare Looped Walks
North Clare, Clare
- Requiring a medium level of fitness, these walks are ideal for leisure walkers, families, school field trips and those who are on a short visit to the area.
- Minimum gear required - Sturdy walking boots, waterproofs, rucksack, fluid, snacks, mobile phone.
1. Ballyvaughan Wood Loop - The Burren is a limestone plateau occupying an area of over 100 square miles in North Clare. It is an area of scenic attractions where stone-grey hills and the valleys beneath reveal many prehistoric remains. The unfolding layers of limestone form terraces on the slopes of the hills and the area has been described as a 'lunar' landscape. The first section of the loop follows part of the long-distance Burren Way, climbing up towards Aillwee Cave takes you along the side of Aillwee Mountain and back down to the seaside village Ballyvaughan. This loop is part of the network of national Looped Walks and is marked using the standard purple Looped Walk directional arrows. Difficulty:Easy.
2. Black Head Loop - The Black Head Loop commences in Fanore, climbs up through Ballelly, along part of the Burren Way to the Caher Valley, crosses part of the Gleinagh Mountain and eventually decends down the R477. The loop affords some wonderful views of Galway Bay and the Aran Islands. This loop is part of a network of National Looped Walks and is marked using the standard purple National Lopped Walk directional arrows. Difficulty:Difficult to Hard.
3. Carran Turlough Loop - This loop, all on tarred road, travels all around the Carran Turlough (seasonal lake), Europes largest Turlough. Difficulty:Easy.
4. Carron Loop Walk - The unspoilt village of Carron lies in the heart of the Burren at one of the highest points in the Burren Mountains and overlooks the largest turlough (disappearing lake) in Western Europe. Difficulty:Difficult to Hard.
5. Fanore to Ballyvaughan Trek - This is a fabulous mostly off road walk between Fanore and Ballyvaughan, taking you above the R477 on the old famine road around Blackhead. The route takes you over Gleninagh mountain, into Feenagh Valley and up onto the shoulder of Capanwalla, where you can enjoy spectacular views over Galway Bay. The walk into Ballyvaughan is on quiet country roads, farmland, and through a magical Burren hazel woodland. Difficulty:Difficult to Hard.
6. Lough Avalla Farm Loop - This is a magical walk through an old Celtic farm, and sweeping the shores of the little lake called Lough Avalla. Please note that you are on a working farm and that the sheep, goats and cattle graze here. Please stay on the official path. Difficulty:Moderate to Difficult.