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Lough Coolaknick Lough

Inishturk provides panoramic views and beautiful sandy beaches bordering on crystal clear waters, free from pollution, Inishturk provides peace and tranquillity for the visitor. Noted for the friendliness and hospitality of its inhabitants, it is a small but beautiful island (5km x 2.5km) located 14km off the west coast of Mayo, between the islands of Inishbofin and Clare Island. It rises boldly from the wild North Atlantic in wall-like cliffs to the northwest and steep hills to the north on which stands the ruins of the old signal tower 250m above sea level. The island has been inhabited since approx 4000BC – today it has a population of 70 proud islanders. There is a traditional music weekend every year in mid-June and an annual regatta in mid-July. While the island is ‘open for business’ year-round, May to September is the best time to visit (July and August tend to be the busiest). Accommodation is provided by B&Bs that also provide evening meals to visitors.

A-B. The trailhead is located at a gable wall 50m from pier. From the trailhead follow the green (and purple) arrows – the purple arrows are for the longer Mountain Common Loop. Continue along surfaced road for 100m to pass the church (on your right) and reach the Community Development Office / Tourist Office. Follow the road as it ascends to reach a 3-way junction from where the loop ‘proper’ begins. Turn right here following both the green and purple arrows.

B-C. The roadway ascends again to pass first Ocean View B&B and then the Shop (both on your right). Continue along the road to reach a metal gate which marks your entry into Mountain Common.

C-D. Pass through the gate (taking care to close it after you) and follow the winding sandy roadway - enjoying the views of the Atlantic Ocean that open up in front of you. After almost 1km you reach Loch Coolaknick (which in Irish means ‘the lake at the back of the mountain’!). Near the end of the lake the longer Mountain Common Loop swings right and ascends across the commonage. You continue straight - staying on the sandy roadway.

D-E. Follow the sandy roadway downhill to reach first a Waterworks and then the sportsfield where the longer purple loop joins again from your right. Continue straight here.

E-F. Stay on the sandy roadway past Teach Abhainn B&B (on your right) to reach a T-junction. The loop turns left here but you might perfer taking the short trip to Portdoon - a peaceful cove just 200m away (turn right and almost immediately left). If you do - be sure to make your way back to this junction again.

F-A. From the T-junction the loop follows surfaced road back to the trailhead. On your way you pass first the Primary School and then the Community Club. If you have time to spare, enjoy a pint or ‘cuppa’ in the company of some locals. The trailhead and pier are a 10min walk from the ‘club’.

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