Connemara National Park

Image by Romain Ballez

Image by Romain Ballez

This protected wilderness area is a region of great, remote natural beauty, in one of the most westerly regions of Ireland.

Near the Village of Letterfrack, the National Park at Connemara contains an assortment of geological formations, wildlife, and plant life, all gathered into one area for an exhilarating outdoor experience.

Located on the slopes of the mountain range known as the Twelve Bens, the plant life is plentiful. Much of the area is made up of bog and heath land, and in some spots the purple moor grass actually makes the ground look as though it has turned color. There are also a variety of other plants, from grasses to lichens and moss.

Birds abound – there are meadow pipits, robins, wrens, skylarks, and birds of prey such as merlins and peregrines make their appearance on occasion. Animals include red deer, which have been reintroduced here and appear to be thriving, as well as a nice sized herd of Connemara ponies.

Visit Connemara National Park and you’ll find a complete Visitor’s Centre, which displays the evolution of the landscape over nearly 10,000 years using models, expansive 3D displays and other methods.

The museum places an interesting focus on the origins of peat as well as its growth. An interesting but sobering fact is that over 80% of Ireland’s peat has been decimated in the past 90 years alone. Strange, considering that it took nearly 5,000 years for nature to make.

The Visitor’s Centre is also the best place to visit for direction as to which of the many and varied nature trails and walks is best suited to your physical abilities. Enjoy the wilds of County Galway at its finest by exploring these natural wonders at your own leisure.

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About Michael Heraghty

Michael Heraghty is a user experience designer who grew up in the beautiful county of Sligo in the West of Ireland. He now lives in Dublin, with his wife and three daughters.