Letterkeen Woods – majestic conifers in the mountains

Letterkeen has one of the largest forest blocks in the country and offers spectacular views of the surrounding Nephin Beg mountains.. There was no woodland in this area until 1951 when the State introduced a forestry development programme, focused on readily saleable conifer species. Lodgepole pine and Japanese larch feature on the mountain slopes, with sitka spruce in the more fertile valleys.

Three loop walks begin at the Brogan Carroll bothy, an old stone hut that was rebuilt in recent years and marks the trailhead well. Information boards at the trailhead will give you details of the various trails and some local history.

To get to Letterkeen, take the Newport Road (N59) out of Westport and continue through Newport on that road, signposted for Newport and Achill. Approximately 1km (0.6 miles) out of Newport, turn right (north) at a signpost for the Marine Institute and Lough Furnace. Follow this road through a crossroads at about 2km (1.2 miles) passing a disused two-storey house on your right. Continue along this road past Lough Feeagh on your left. Pass Treenlaur Youth Hostel and Shramore Lodge, and then cross a small bridge over the Srahrevagh River. Shortly after the bridge turn left onto a forestry roadway (following the signposts for the Bangor Trail and the Western Way). Follow the road about 1km, and the trailhead is located at the stone bothy.

Letterkeen Loop Trail Head, Srahrevagh, County Mayo, Ireland