Letterkeen Loop Walk
Start from the town of Newport – on the N59 between Westport and Achill. Follow the N59 in the direction of Achill for just 1km before turning right at a signpost indicating Treenlaur Youth Hostel and Lough Furnace. After 1km go straight at a signpost for Lough Furnace, and continue along this road past Lough Feeagh (on your left). Pass Treenlaur Youth Hostel and Shramore Lodge, and then cross a small bridge over the Srahrevagh River . Almost immediately after the bridge turn left onto a forestry roadway (following the signposts for the Bangor Trail and the Western Way). Follow the forestry roadway for approx 1km – the trailhead is located at the stone bothy.
At a Glance
Ascent : 310m/350m
Distance : 12km / 3hrs – 3hr30mins
Grade : Hard
Minimum Gear : Hiking boots, raingear, snack, fluid, mobile phone
Services : Newport (12km)
Terrain : Riverbank, mountain tracks, sandy paths and forestry roads
Trailhead : Brogan Carroll Bothy, Letterkeen, Newport, County Mayo
A-B. Starting from the Brogan Carroll Bothy follow the purple (and blue and red) arrows. Cross a footbridge and turn left. Follow the bank of the Altaconey River for 1km to reach a footbridge. Cross the bridge and turn right.
B-C. Continue to follow the purple arrows along the old cattle road. After 1km the blue loop turns right onto a firebreak – you continue straight here.
C-D. Continue to follow the old roadway for approx 2km – crossing a stream en-route. Near the end of a section of forestry (on your right) the red loop turns into the forestry – you continue straight for only another 200m to reach a point where you turn right and ascend following the inside of an old wire fence.
D-E. Follow the wire fence to the top of the hill, and veer right as the loop skirts the corner of forestry – then follow the markers carefully as you ascend steeply to the highest point at 311m.
E-F. Enjoy the panoramic views before turning right and reaching the edge of forestry where you turn left. After 300m the loop turns right and descends steeply along a narrow path through trees. At the bottom you rejoin the red loop and turn left. Follow the stony track through Sheep’s Pass and descend to reach a forestry road where you turn right.
F-A. Follow the forestry road for 1km to rejoin the blue loop as it comes in from your right. Veer left and follow the blue, red and purple arrows as the loop takes you onto and along the Altacroney River for 2km to regain the trailhead.