If you are looking for a scenic and relaxing getaway in the west of Ireland, you might want to consider visiting Ardnageeha or ‘Ard na Gaoithe’ woods near the village of Cong in Mayo. This beautiful woodland area offers a network of forest paths that run along the shores of Lough Corrib, the largest lake in the Republic of Ireland.

Ardnageeha, or Ard na Gaoithe also it’s also known and which means ‘height of the wind’ in Irish, is a Coillte-owned forest park that covers about 450 hectares of land. It features a variety of tree species, such as ash, sycamore, beech, Norway spruce and larch, as well as water-tolerant species like alder and willow along the lake edge and wet areas. The woodland is home to many birds and animals, such as robins, wrens, woodpeckers, squirrels and deer. You might also spot some rare plants, such as orchids and ferns, among the undergrowth.

The main attraction of Ardnageeha woods is the loop walk that takes you on an elevated path overlooking Lough Corrib and its islands. The walk is about 2 km long. It is graded as easy and suitable for all ages and abilities. Along the way, you will find picnic areas and benches where you can sit and enjoy the stunning views of the lake and the surrounding countryside. You will also pass by some historical features, such as an old lime kiln and a stone bridge.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can also take a dip in the lake at some of the designated swimming areas. The water is clear and refreshing, but be warned: it can be very cold! Alternatively, you can rent a boat or kayak from one of the nearby operators and explore the lake and its islands at your own pace. You might even catch a glimpse of some fish, such as trout or salmon, or some waterfowl, such as swans or ducks.

Ardnageeha woods are located about 3 km from Cong village, which is famous for being the filming location of The Quiet Man movie starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. From Cong village, you can follow the signs for Ardnageeha woods or ‘Ard na Gaoithe’. There is a car park at the entrance of the forest park where you can leave your vehicle. From there, you can follow the marked trail that leads you to the loop walk.

Ardnageeha woods are a perfect destination for nature lovers, walkers, photographers and anyone who wants to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The woodland offers a tranquil and serene setting where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and enjoy the fresh air and the soothing sounds of the lake. The loop walk is easy and enjoyable, with stunning views of Lough Corrib and its islands along the way. 

If you are looking for a scenic and relaxing getaway in the west of Ireland, you should definitely visit Ardnageeha or ‘Ard na Gaoithe’ woods.


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Ardnageeha Woodland



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