Introducing Connemara National Park
Immediately southeast of Letterfrack, Connemara National Park (41054; www.heritageireland.ie ; Letterfrack; adult/child €2.90/1.30; visitors centre & facilities 10am-5.30pm Mar-May, 9.30am-6.30pm Jun-Aug, 10am-5.30pm Sep-early Oct, grounds open year-round) spans 2000 hectares of bog, mountain and heath. The headquarters and visitor centre are housed in old buildings just south of the crossroads in Letterfrack.
The park encloses a number of the Twelve Bens, including Bencullagh, Benbrack and Benbaun. The heart of the park is Gleann Mór (Big Glen), through which flows the River Polladirk. There’s fine walking up the glen and over the surrounding mountains. There are also short, self-guided walks and, if the Bens look too daunting, you can hike up Diamond Hill nearby.
The visitor centre offers an introduction to the park’s flora, fauna and geology, and visitors can scrutinise maps and various trails here before heading out into the park. Seeing the exhibits on bog biology, and the video Man and the Landscape will make walking the park a more rewarding experience. The centre has an indoor eating area and rudimentary kitchen facilities for walkers.
Guided nature walks (incl in admission; walks 11am Mon, Wed & Fri Jun, 11am Mon, Wed & Fri-Sun Jul & Aug) depart from the visitor centre. They cover rough, boggy terrain – bring sturdy boots and rain gear.
Last updated: Sep 16, 2008
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