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Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail



Walk Length

60 km


65 hr




This trail is a National way-marked walk, which extends from the village of Balla to the village of Murrisk at the base of Croagh Patrick.

The trail follows part of an earlier longer royal route which runs from Cruachan, the ancient capital of Connaught (sited in the Rathcroghan complex in County Roscommon), to the mountain. Saint Patrick is said to have walked this route on his way to climbing the mountain, and many Irish people continue this tradition by walking a part of this route. So, follow in the footsteps of countless generations of Irish people who have followed a well-worn path to Ireland’s holy mountain.

Allow time to visit the remains of a medieval altar and of a 12th-century round tower, which stands approximately 10 meters high, and is located just off the main square in Balla. These ruins were built on the site of a 7th-century monastery. The round tower is believed to have once stood at a height of 30 meters. Along the way, visit another round tower in Aughagower. This one is 16 meters high. Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, had 32 round towers built across Ireland, and the one in Aughagower was one of these.

  • Trailhead / Start Point: The Square, Balla or Murrisk village at the base of Croagh Patrick
  • GPS Location: Balla 53.8047, -9.1309 / Murrisk 53.7736, -9.6398
  • Direction: Yellow markers 
  • Distance: 60 km
  • Terrain: Forest tracks, moorland and field tracks
  • Grade: Hard 
  • Estimated Time: 3 days
  • Minimum Gear: Sturdy walking shoes/boots, waterproofs, mobile phone, snacks & fluids
  • Services: Balla, Castlebar, Westport