Tawnyard Wood – spectacular lakeside views in the mountains
Tawnyard Wood is in the Sheeffry Hills, just below Tawnyard mountain and above Tawnyard Lough. Managed for recreational and commercial use by Coillte, the state-owned forestry company, this lodgepole pine forest commands stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the lake below.
Here, the Owenduff River, one of the premier fishing rivers in the area, rises from Tawnyard Lake. Views from the bridge over the Owenduff are spectacular, with the Sheefry Hills to the north, Mweelrea to the west and Ben Gorm to the southwest.
The drive to Tawnyard is itself well worth the effort. From Westport, head south on the Leenane Road (N59) about 8km (5 miles) to a crossroads signposted for Drummin, to the right. Continue about 13km (8 miles) on this road to the carpark signposted on the left for Tawnyard.
The road passes through farmland into the picturesque village of Drummin and onward below Tawnyrower mountain, across the Sheeffry bridge and up the flank of Tawnyard mountain. Then it zigzags up the steep mountainside, offering fine views of the valley below, and curves around Tawnyard mountain to the right. It then descends to the forest park carpark, which is on the left with Tawnyard Lough visible below. The entrance to the carpark is the next left after the signposted viewpoint. A signposted walk south through the forest begins here.
Tawnyard on the map
Pic: saraflorence/Creative Commons