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The trail starts close to the front door of the new Visitor Centre for Ballycroy National Park and finishes at the Tearoom which enjoys views of Achill Island. This Visitor Centre is situated in the Village of Ballycroy. The trail is named after mythical giant Daithí Bán who built a fortress on Ballycroy National Park’s tallest mountain, Corslieve. He would regularly walk down to the sea and use the three islands between Ballycroy and Doohooma Head as stepping stones.

The Tóchar Daithí Bán marker post at the front of the Visitor Centre guides you onto a gravel and boardwalk trail which winds around Cleary’s Hill. The first point of interest along the route is our Dipping Pond. The pond features distinctive bog plants such as bogbean and around it can be found marsh pennywort and marsh violets. This is also a great location for spotting dragonflies and damselflies.

As the loop continues you are afforded views to the east of the Nephin Beg Mountain Range which is an integral feature of the National Park. The heathers and gorse provide vibrant splashes of colour and fragrance almost all year round.

Approximately half way on the trail there is a viewing point which can be accessed by taking a gentle ascent to the summit of Cleary’s Hill. There are panoramic views across the Nephin Beg mountain range and over to Achill Island. The panoramic views of mountains and sea are breathtaking.

Walkers rejoin the main loop by descending along the same trail continuing around Cleary’s Hill. It terminates at the rear of the Visitor Centre which has picnic tables on an outdoor patio area and the entrance to our tearooms.

Wildlife on the Trail

As you walk around the Tóchar Daithí Bán Trail keep an eye and an ear open for some of our wonderful wildlife. Meadow pipits, skylarks, stonchats and thrushes are just some of the birdlife on Cleary’s Hill. During the summer listen for the distinctive call of the cuckoo which is on the amber list in the Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland. Hares, shrews and other small Irish mammals reside here and can often be seen from the trail. Kestrels, which are a species of falcon, may also be seen from the trail with their distinctive hunting technique making them easy to distinguish. The usually hover with a fanned tail, managing to keep its head stationary despite its rapid wing beats while they search for small mammals such as mice and shrews.

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