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Ballycroy National Park Republic of Ireland

Ballycroy National Park is Ireland's sixth National Park and was established in November 1998. Situated in northwest Mayo on the Western seaboard, it is comprised of 11,00 hectares of unspoilt wilderness - mountain ranges, Atlantic blanket bog, and marshes. Green travellers who are looking for a hiking adventure will find acres and acres of open country to explore. The blanket bog system is one of the most scenic and beautiful, not to mention scientific features of the National Park, and supports a huge capacity of rare and protected habitats and species - perfect for the nature lover.

Red grouse, golden plover, Greenland white fronted geese and otters are all out there to be witnessed on the heaths and rivers, and found within special conservation and protection areas, so the eco traveller may rest assured that they are not intruding upon any unprotected or monitored areas. The visitor centre provides copies of illustrated bird and plant guides that can be found along the nature trail to help improve your wildlife ID skills.

It is possible to camp out on the Park, but you will need to acquire a written permit if you are in a party of more than 10, want to light a fire or want to create any special event. This is keeping in lines with the rubrics of ecotourism and is designed to ensure that the landscape is looked after properly by visitors and continues to be preserved and protected.

If camping is too much like hard work after a busy day's hiking and exploring, then there is also a wealth of hotels in the proximity, all conscientious in preserving and protecting the natural beautiful surroundings for visitors and locals alike. Prices start at ?65 per night.

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