The Western Way national trail in the Mayo/Galway border region is now part of the International Appalachian Trail (IAT). The IAT is considered an extension of the Appalachian Trail in the USA and the Canadian Appalachian range. 

The Western Way is a long-distance walking trail that begins in Oughterard, Co Galway and finishes near Bonniconlon in north Mayo.

It has ancient connections to routes used by our ancestors.

It became part of the national walking trails system in the 1980s, taking in spectacular scenery in both counties.

Mám Éan is located at the ancient pass crossing the Maumturks mountains between the Maam Valley and the Inagh Valley. Ireland shares a geological history with the USA and Canada, and also Scotland, Scandinavia and Greenland. There is evidence in the rocks along the trail revealing these strong connections.

The newly named ‘Mám Éan Geotrail’ consists of three information panels, two at either side of the pass and one at the col (the saddle between the two ridges), which explores the geological links between the west of Ireland and northeastern America.

It offers a great asset for the JCWL Geopark and the communities of Maam, Recess and Leenane, expanding the interpretation already offered in the geopark region.

It was commissioned by JCWL GeoEnterprise, funded by Geological Survey Ireland’s GeoHeritage grant, and produced by the JCWL Geopark in association with Comharchumann Dhúiche Sheoigheach Teo, in partnership with National Parks and Wildlife Services and County Galway Rural Recreation Officer based in Forum Connemara.


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