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Kennagh Loop Walk
Starting from the town of Castlebar in County Mayo take the R311 in the direction of Newport. After 5km turn right onto the R312 which sweeps north and takes you past Beltra Lough (5km). Contiinue to follow the R312 for 12km to reach a junction with the R317 on your left (signposted Newport). Continue straight here (following the signs for Crossmolina and Bangor) and travel for a further 7km to reach Bellanaderg Bridge on your left just before the split of the R312 and R317.
Trail at a Glance
Distance : 12km
Estimated Time : 3hrs - 4hrs
Grade : Hard
Minimum Gear : Hiking boots, raingear, snack and fluid
Services : Crossmolina (15km)
Terrain : Country lanes, green roadways, riverbank & open mountain
Theme : Mountain
Bellanaderg Bridge, Keenagh, Co Mayo
OS Sheet 31, G067 067
This loop combines spectacular scenery, remote wilderness, and a variety of terrain that includes panoramic views of high mountains, a heavenly valley, wild vegetation and crystal clear rivers and streams. On the outward journey the walker has wonderful views towards Glenhest and Newport to the South and, on the return section, panoramic views of North Mayo all the way to the Atlantic. Starting from Bellanderg Bridge west of Nephin, the walker follows the old road towards Newport, starting on a surfaced lane, then onto a wide grass covered track. A section along riverbank takes the walker into the the remote and stunning Glendorragha Valley. The route then ascends to a mountain pass by Knockaffertagh and descends to meet a farm track and minor road back to the trailhead.
A-B. Starting from Bellanaderg Bridge cross the bridge over the Boghadoon River and turn left. Follow the surfaced roadway for approximately 500m to reach a 3-way junction. Continue straight here onto a laneway through the townland of Derreen.
B-C. After approx 2km the laneway gives way to a ‘green roadway’ - once the main road to Newport - which takes you along the shoulder of Letterkeeghaun.
C-D. Follow the green road for almost 3km, to pass a concrete water tower on your right. Turn right here.
D-E. Follow the line of a wire fence for 200m and then cross a short open section to reach the banks of a river at superb waterfall. Turn right and enjoy the views of some superb waterfalls as you travel along the right bank of the river into Glendorragha Valley.
E-F. After 1km along the riverbank watch for a line of old wooden fence posts on your right – these mark the point where you turn right and begin a long ascent over the Knockaffertagh Pass.
F-G. Follow the fence posts to join the right bank of a tributary stream. The loop follows the route of the stream to reach the summit of the mountain pass. Keeping left on your way through the pass, the descent follows sheep tracks along the shoulder of Knockaffertagh, eventually joining a farm laneway at a metal gate.
G-A. The loop follows the old laneway past some derelict farmhouses to join a surfaced roadway for the last section back to the trailhead.