Ballynahinch Castle Estate Walking Trails
Ballynahinch Estate Walking Trails has approximately 16 kilometres of trails throughout the estate. The trails wind through some native woodlands, along lakeshores and by the river.
Originally constructed in 1756 by the Martin Family, Ballynahinch Castle served as the Manor House for one of the largest estates in Ireland & the British Isles during its time. The estate at that time encompassed over 200,000 acres. The boundaries stretched from Oughterard in the east to the 12 Bens to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south and west.
The area was once ruled by the O’Flaherty Clan in the 16th century is steeped in history and legend. It was home of the infamous pirate queen, Grace O’Malley (Grainnuaile). The original O’Flaherty Castle stronghold can be seen on Castle Island on Ballynahinch Lake.
The flora and fauna, much of it unique to this region, thrives at Ballynahinch. Peregrine falcons, pine martins, atlantic salmon and red deer are a few of the protected species found on the estate. The estate has rigorous conservation safeguard in place to safeguard these species. Efforts are under way to remove invasive alien species ensuring the estate is protected for many generations to come.
Guided walks are available year round from the hotel. The walks give a much greater insight into the estate’s history and ecology. Please contact the reception desk for any queries.