The Connemara Mountain Walking Festival in Leenane is probably now the
leading Mountain Walking Festival in Ireland.
This year the festival was sold out weeks in advance of the event with
walkers from ten different countries taking part.
From very humble beginnings the Festival has really turned into a great
Leenane is now the adventure hub on the Wild Atlantic Way and as it is
situated in the heart of hillwalking country a Walking Festival is an
ideal way to showcase what it has to offer.
There are walks to suit everyone from lower level tracks to high and
challenging climbs of up to 9 hours.
The walks are led by professionally qualified guides accompanied by
local residents and a number of farmers. It offers the opportunity for
walkers who wouldn’t otherwise venture into the mountains to do so in a
safe and welcoming environment.
The appreciation of the walkers for being taken out onto mountains has
led to rave reviews and acknowledgement of the farmers who own and farm
these areas. Without their goodwill and cooperation it would be
impossible to run such an event.
A serious debt of gratitude is due to these farmers who manage such a
wonderful asset that is our uplands.
This is a community lead initiative with all funds raised after the
running costs are met going back into local projects in the village of
To date circa €20k has been raised, with funds going towards the Sea
Garden creshe, the Leenane Day care, meals on wheels, Kayak club, Red
Cross, Community First Responders, Tidy towns and now the exciting new
project of an Amenity Park on the old football pitch.
It is estimated that the Festival weekend is worth in the region of
€100k annually to the village of Leenane. The spinoff is even greater
when walkers regularly return to the village at other times of the year.