Miners Way and Historical Trail

The Miners' Way and Historical Trail is a long-distance trail in Ireland. It is a 118-kilometre (73-mile) long circular route that begins and ends in Arigna, County Roscommon. It is typically completed in five days.[1] It is designated as a National Waymarked Trail by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council and is managed by Roscommon Integrated Development Company, Roscommon County Council, Leitrim County Council and Sligo County Council.[2] The trail was developed to encourage tourism in the area in the wake of the closure of the Arigna mines in 1990.[3] The route was originally conceived by a local priest, Father Sean Tynan, and built with funding from the European Regional Development Fund.[4] The trail was opened by broadcaster Donncha Ó Dúlaing in July 2000.[4]

The trail consists of three looped routes that travel through neighbouring parts of Counties Roscommon, Leitrim and Sligo. The Miners' Way is 62 kilometres (39 miles) long and follows paths used by miners working in the Arigna coal mines and makes a circuit via Keadue, Ballyfarnon and Corrie Mountain.[5] The Historical Trail is 56 kilometres (35 miles) long and makes a circuit of Lough Key and Lough Arrow via Keadue, Lough Key Forest Park, Boyle, Carrowkeel, Castlebaldwin, Highwood and Ballyfarnon.[5] A third trail makes a circuit of Lough Allen via Drumkeeran, Dowra and Drumshanbo.[5]

Parts of the Miners' Way and Historical Trail also form part of the Beara-Breifne Way, a walking and cycling route under development, intended to run from the Beara Peninsula, County Cork to Breifne, County Leitrim following the line of Donal Cam O'Sullivan Beare's march in the aftermath of the Battle of Kinsale in 1602.[6]

Miners' Way and Historical Trail
Length118 km (73 mi)[1]
LocationCounties Leitrim, Roscommon & Sligo, Ireland
DesignationNational Waymarked Trail[1]
Elevation gain/loss2,340 m (7,677 ft)[1]
Hiking details



  1. ^ a b c d e "Miners' Way and Historical Trail". IrishTrails. Irish Sports Council. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  2. ^ National Trails Office 2010, p. 40.
  3. ^ Brennan, Paul (6 September 2000). "Arigna marks 10th anniversary of coalmines closure". Leitrim Observer. Carrick-on-Shannon. p. 18.
  4. ^ a b "Donncha O'Dulaing launches Miners' Way". Leitrim Observer. Carrick-on-Shannon. 19 July 2000. p. 14.
  5. ^ a b c "Activities - walking". VisitRoscommon.com. Roscommon Tourism. Archived from the original on 13 October 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  6. ^ "Walking". Beara-Breifne Greenway Project. Archived from the original on 5 September 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2011.


External links

Beara-Breifne Way

The Beara-Breifne Way is a long distance walking and cycling trail being developed from the Beara Peninsula in County Cork, Ireland, to Blacklion in the area of Breifne in County Cavan. The trail follows closely the line of the historical march of O’Sullivan Beare.

Ireland Way

The Ireland Way is Ireland's longest coast-to-coast walking and cycling trail that joins the newly developed Beara-Breifne Way to the Ulster Way on the island of Ireland. The trail goes from the Beara Peninsula in County Cork, Republic of Ireland to Ballycastle, County Antrim in Northern Ireland. The Beara-Breifne Way trail follows closely the line of the historical march of O’Sullivan Beare. One of the first people to walk the Ireland Way in one go was a Canadian woman named Maysen Forbes in 2017.

Lists of long-distance trails in the Republic of Ireland

These are lists of long-distance trails in Ireland, and include recognised and maintained walking trails, pilgrim trails, cycling greenways, boardwalk-mountain trails, and interconnected national and international trail systems. Access is noted as the greatest obstacle to developing trails as Ireland has weak supporting legislation.

There are 43 National Waymarked Trails by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council. Each trail is waymarked with square black posts containing an image, in yellow, of a walking man and a directional arrow, a symbol reserved for use only by National Waymarked Trails. The oldest trail is the Wicklow Way, which was opened in 1980, and there are now over 4,000 kilometres (2,500 miles) of waymarked trails Ireland. The most frequented trails are the Wicklow, Sheep's Head, Kerry, Dingle, Beara, Burren and Western Ways. The standard of many of these trails are below international comparison, with access noted as the greatest obstacle.

In 1997, the Heritage Council, started developing a series of walking routes based on medieval pilgrimage paths, and there are now 124 kilometres (77 miles) of major penitential trails: Cnoc na dTobar, Cosán na Naomh, St. Finbarr's Pilgrim Path, Saint Kevin's Way, and Tochar Phádraig. These pilgrim trails, and seven others, are supported by Pilgrim Paths of Ireland who follow the same guidelines for developing National Waymarked Trails.

In 2017, the 46-kilometre Waterford Greenway was opened for cyclists, and many others are planned or in development. Many of the National Waymarked Trails form part of larger long-distance and transnational trails such as European walking route E8, the Beara-Breifne Way and the International Appalachian Trail.

Pilgrim path
Cycle greenway
Boarded mountain

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