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The Western Way: Part 1 Oughterard to Newport

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Photo ofThe Western Way: Part 1 Oughterard to Newport Photo ofThe Western Way: Part 1 Oughterard to Newport Photo ofThe Western Way: Part 1 Oughterard to Newport

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Trail stats

Distance
70.51 mi
Elevation gain
5,863 ft
Technical difficulty
Moderate
Elevation loss
5,889 ft
Max elevation
1,574 ft
TrailRank 
60
Min elevation
-23 ft
Trail type
One Way
Time
3 days 5 hours 18 minutes
Coordinates
7172
Uploaded
May 8, 2022
Recorded
April 2022
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near Oughterard, Connaught (Ireland)

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Trail photos

Photo ofThe Western Way: Part 1 Oughterard to Newport Photo ofThe Western Way: Part 1 Oughterard to Newport Photo ofThe Western Way: Part 1 Oughterard to Newport

Itinerary description

I walked "The Western Way" as a possible section of the E2 European Long Distance Path, as well as for its innate beauty. This is part 1 of the route, it differed in places from an older GPX track I had downloaded from waymarkedtrails.org. Part 2 of my walk on the Western Way is at https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/the-western-way-part-2-newport-to-the-start-of-the-sligo-way-102376122 .
On my first day I walked on roads by the extensive waters of Lough Corrib. A boardwalk then took me through a forestry plantation to a busy road. Leaving it near the village of Maum I climbed into the Mamturk mountains up to the pass of Mam Ean, camping by the path.
Next day, after visiting St Patrick's Chapel, I followed a path down to a road up the valley in sheep farming country. Following a track through forestry I eventually caught sight of Killary Harbour, a fjord like inlet of the sea. Leenaun, further up the "harbour", had a café, shop, bar, accommodation and a wool museum.
Third day took me up a valley beside the Erriff river, then by forest tracks to a road over a ridge to the next valley. From there I crossed a high pass on open moorland lacking a path (there is an alternative road route). More road walking led me to a path onto open hillside where I camped on rough ground in the shadow of Croagh Patrick (a mountain).
On the final day of this section a forest track took me to roads over a final ridge, beyond which Westport Bay opened out beneath me. Westport is a busy town with all the facilities. A cycle path beside a busy road took me to the next town of Newport.
Most of the route was in areas remote from facilities, although isolated single story white houses were never far away.
More details can be found in my blog https://johnpone2.blogspot.com/search/label/Western%20Way (or in a German guide to the route https://www.conrad-stein-verlag.de/buecher-shop/wanderfuehrer-irland-western-way-fernwanderweg/ )

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Waypoints

PictographPanorama Altitude 0 ft
Photo ofBarbara Edwards Seat Photo ofBarbara Edwards Seat

Barbara Edwards Seat

A bench in memory of Barbara Edwards provides a great view over Lough Corrib and its islands. Behind the bench is the "New Village Forest Recreation Area".

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Bunowen River Bridge

There is a small diversion off the forest track to use this bridge.

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Photo ofCamp Street B&B at Oughterard Photo ofCamp Street B&B at Oughterard Photo ofCamp Street B&B at Oughterard

Camp Street B&B at Oughterard

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Photo ofCamping spot Photo ofCamping spot Photo ofCamping spot

Camping spot

I pitched on rough ground on the hillside, irregular and a little damp it had a great view over three lakes, forestry, a valley and distant mountains. Behind the mountain of Croagh Patrick rose up.

PictographProvisioning Altitude 45 ft

Keanes Food store, Maum

Keanes food store in the village of Maum, a little off the Western Way, but worth a visit for a coffee and sandwiches. There is a bar next door.

PictographProvisioning Altitude 22 ft
Photo ofLeenane Photo ofLeenane Photo ofLeenane

Leenane

The village of Leenane has accommodation, cafe, bar and shop. It lies beside Killary Harbour.

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Photo ofLugacolliwee Lough Photo ofLugacolliwee Lough

Lugacolliwee Lough

Lugacolliwee Lough is a lake in a cwm below a high mountain pass I crossed.

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Photo ofNewport Photo ofNewport Photo ofNewport

Newport

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Petrol Station

A welcome stop where I could buy a coffee and banana.

Photo ofSt Patricks Chapel at Mám Éan pass Photo ofSt Patricks Chapel at Mám Éan pass Photo ofSt Patricks Chapel at Mám Éan pass

St Patricks Chapel at Mám Éan pass

St Patrick camped out here, just like I did. There is a chapel, an altar and "Stations of the Cross", as well as a great view from this mountain pass.

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Photo ofStone Pier on Lough Corrib Photo ofStone Pier on Lough Corrib

Stone Pier on Lough Corrib

A pleasant place to enjoy eating lunch.

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Photo ofViewpoint a little off the path

Viewpoint a little off the path

Starting early I deviated off the route to see the view over the ridge to the west in the blue, predawn light. You can see the lights on in the nearby farmhouses.

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Photo ofWestport Photo ofWestport Photo ofWestport

Westport

An attractive town with all the required facilities.

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