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Wild Nephin 6 °C Rain showers
3. 2. 2023
2:27
Wild Nephin National Park logo

“Indeed the Nephin Beg range of mountains is, I think, the very loneliest place in this country”

 

Robert Lloyd Praeger

Listen to nature’s voice

Welcome to Wild Nephin
National Park

Located on the Western seaboard in northwest Mayo, Wild Nephin National Park covers a vast 15,000 hectares of uninhabited and unspoilt wilderness, dominated by the Nephin Beg mountain range. To the west of the mountains is the Owenduff Bog, one of the last intact active blanket bog systems in Western Europe.

The National Park also protects other important habitats and species including alpine heath, upland grassland, heath, lakes and river catchments. Greenland white-fronted geese, golden plover, red grouse and otters are just some of the important fauna found within the National Park.

Discover our walking trails, learn more about the habitats and species we protect, or explore our education programmes.

Boundary Map of
Wild Nephin National Park

Wild Nephin Boundary Map

Area

15,000 ha

S.P.A:

004098

Location in Co.Mayo

Location in Co.Mayo

Legend

  • Parking
  • Lake
  • River
  • N59
  • Mountain Peak
  • Forest Land
  • Visitor Center
  • Park Boundary

The detail on this map is generalised: it is not suitable for hill-walking. The map does not show legal title to property. Cartography ©2009 – ESRI Ireland Ltd and the National Parks & Wildlife Service, Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government. Based on Ordnance Survey Ireland data. Licence No. EN 0059208. © Ordnance Survey Ireland / Government of Ireland.

Where the darkest skies reveal the brightest stars

Mayo Dark Sky Park


Wild Nephin National Park showcases some of the darkest, most pristine night skies in the world and is officially certified as a Gold Tier standard International Dark Sky Park. The Mayo Dark Sky Park extends across the entire National Park, and on a clear night visitors can see thousands of twinkling stars, other planets in our solar system, the Milky Way and even meteor showers, all with the naked eye.

 

Our very experienced team of guides at the Ballycroy Visitor Centre welcome visitors and run the Dark Sky Educational Programme. They can provide guidance to get you started with stargazing, and while the Visitor Centre closes during some winter months, the viewing sites within the Dark Sky Park are open to the public year round.

Boardwalk in Dark Sky Park

Picks of the Park


Interactive exhibition at Ballycroy

Visitor Centre


Our interactive exhibition captivates visitors of all ages and offers an overview of the biodiversity of the National Park as well as some of the cultural heritage of the region. On the site take a leisurely stroll along the Tóchar Daithí Bán Nature Trail and experience panoramic views of Achill Island, The Nephin Beg Mountain Range and the Atlantic Ocean. Learn more about this 20-30 minute walk, which can be easily undertaken by individuals or groups.

Visitor Centre

Ancient forests of our past

Habitats


Claggan Mountain Coastal Trail is situated on the Wild Atlantic Way between Mulranny and Ballycroy and is the perfect location for photographing this stunning area. You will find ample parking and a gentle 1km return along a stony shoreline. Evidence of our ancient forests are visible here, with ancient pine stumps on the shore and emerging from the bog. Wildlife that frequent the shore include otters (Lutra lutra), ringed plovers (Charadrius hiaticula) and grey herons (Ardea cinerea).

Claggan Mountain Coastal Trail

Big Sky Country

Mayo Dark Sky Park


The skies above Ireland’s Wild Nephin National Park are really something to be celebrated, enjoyed and cherished. The Owenduff Bog in the National Park is the largest expanse of intact Atlantic blanket bog in Ireland and Western Europe. This expanse of bog with the rolling hills of the Nephin Beg Mountain Range underpin the constantly changing big skies of this part of North West Mayo.

Stargazing

Protect Nature

Protecting nature is the main aim of a National Park. Conservation work goes hand in hand with responsible outdoor recreation and visitors can help play their part by following these useful tips.

Useful Tips

Plan Ahead

Think about the best time to visit and how you’ll travel here, to minimise your environmental impact. Check the weather and make sure you have everything you need to bring.

Be Considerate

Be aware of how your activities and behaviour can impact nature, the experience of other visitors and those working here. Be mindful of any noise you make and how you interact with others along the way.


Respect Wildlife

Dogs are very welcome but must stay on the lead. If you can, avoid sensitive times for wildlife nesting and breeding.

Travel and Camp on Durable Ground

The marked trails let you take in all the best parts of the Wild Nephin wilderness. Only experienced hikers should venture into the hills. Only Wilderness Camping is permitted: review the guidelines here.


Leave What You Find

Do take photographs of the landscape and plants, but please leave even the smallest details untouched, so others can enjoy the Wild Nephin wilderness just as you did.

Dispose of Waste Properly

Litter is a huge threat to nature. By bringing your waste home, you help protect the park and its wildlife, and keep Wild Nephin healthy.


Minimise the effect of fire

We can’t allow fires of any kind in our national parks. Fires can cause lasting impacts and devastate plants and animals. Talk to our rangers or Education staff if you need advice, and check our Wilderness Camping guide for details.


Heritage & Culture


Wild Nephin Scenery

Travel back in time along the Bangor Trail, as you hike where the herders of yesteryear walked. Experience an ancient landscape where Atlantic blanket bog dominates, beneath the shadows of the Nephin Beg Mountains.

Let the wide open vistas of this big sky country inspire you, with the setting sun on Wild Nephin revealing thousands of stars as the National Park transforms to the Mayo Dark Sky Park. Let the team of dedicated Guides share with you the biodiversity, history and the myths of this unique landscape that is Wild Nephin, our heavenly place and sanctuary for our wildlife.

OPEN:
10:00am–17:30pm
Mid-March – Early November

ADMISSION:
Free

The Visitor Centre is the main information point for Wild Nephin National Park.

Relax and enjoy the hospitality at the Visitor Centre, which houses an interactive exhibition, experienced National Park Guides, the Ginger & Wild Café and the accessible Tóchar Daithí Bán Nature Trail (2km).

We run special events throughout the year and regular guided walks and kids clubs during the summer months. Keep an eye on our social media channels for upcoming walks, talks and activities.

-Stunning panoramic views of Wild Nephin National Park and Achill Island
-Interactive exhibition
-Nature trail with pond and viewing point
-Education Centre
-Information desk
-Ginger & Wild Café
-Guided walks and special events
-Mayo Dark Sky Park Viewing Point

OPEN:
10:00AM – 16:00PM
Mid-March – Early November

OFFERING:
-Indoor dining
-Outdoor dining
-Takeaway

Phone:
+353 (0)87 6666 633

WEB:
www.gingerandwild.com

The cafe’s light, airy seating area offers a bird’s-eye view to Achill Island, the majestic Nephin Beg Mountains and the magical wild Atlantic coast. An exceedingly warm welcome awaits you at this family run café.

The food is all homemade using locally-sourced produce and quality ingredients — teas, coffees, fruit juices, vegetable soups, paninis, quiches, salads, scones, cakes etc, with all delicious tasty goodies made by Jean-Pierre.
Contemporary art adorns the café walls – exhibitions change continually and all work is for sale.

If you are a coach party and planning a lunch stop, please let us know in advance. Call Nicola on the number listed here or visit our website.

News & Notices


World Wetlands Day

2 February 2023


February 2nd and it is World Wetlands Day. This day is a celebration of wetlands across the globe, but in reality we should be honouring our wetlands every day. These places are not only amazing habitats for wildlife, supporting biodiversity, but they are also natural defences against climate breakdown and are key to mitigating against
Read more

Vary’s Loop Detour – Essential Maintenance

1 February 2023


We would like to advise visitors, that due to essential trail maintenance, a detour at Vary’s trail at Letterkeen is necessary to complete the loop. Please see map for overview of this detour. Walkers will need to follow the Western Way towards the main road and return to the bothy via this road. The detour
Read more

World Wetlands Day 2023

19 January 2023


In collaboration with Wild Atlantic Nature, we will be hosting a guided walk at the Claggan Mountain Coastal Trail to celebrate World Wetlands Day, Thursday 2nd of February. Join us for a stroll along through the bog at our coastal trail at Claggan Mountain. Terrain is a mixture of boardwalk and stony shoreline, where Atlantic
Read more