There are seven well marked trails in Burren National Park. They vary in distance and can easily be overlapped and connected. The majority of the park can be explored in under a day. While being the smallest of Ireland’s six National Parks, the Burren is definitely worth a short side trip.
After looking at the map we decided to do the blue trail since it would expose us to a large portion of the park and cross summiting Mount Mullaghmore off my to-do list.
The Red, Green, and Blue routes are all described as being “Extremely Difficult”. I would disagree and rate the trails as Easy/Moderate, but the area has absolutely no cover so exposure to the sun, wind, and potentially rain is definitely something to consider. We lucked out with a relatively clear day with little to no wind.
The four way intersection on the South-West side of the park has a small lot for several vehicles. From here we began following the well marked trail.
The first 1/2-1 km of the blue trail follows a narrow public road. The trail eventually hooks North towards the base of Mullaghmore mountain.
After a short stretch of walking through the desolate rocky terrain we reached the shore of Lough Gealain.
Beyond the lough the trail begins to steadily climb towards the summit of Mount Mullaghmore. The trail is never exposed or overly difficult, but the terrain of loose rock creates some questionable footing.
Half way up the summit looking back over Lough Gealain and the surrounding country side.
I have always been amazed by natural rock formations and fossils and this National Park was full of them. The route up the mountain provided many geological textures and artifacts for me to closely examine and photograph.
Continuing up the mountain side..
The summit of Mullaghmore Mountain is marked by a large pile of boulders. The 360 degree view of Burren National Park is spectacular and worth every bit of the climb.
On the other side of Mount Mullaghmore lies what I can only describe as a large limestone cinnamon bun. Incredible.
350 million years ago sediments from a large tropical sea compressed into the horizontal striations before us. Movement from tectonic disturbances further shaped the landscape. A variety of corals, sea urchins, and other sea creatures formed the various limestone fossils we observed while exploring the park.
From here one can return along the Green route, continue traversing the cinnamon bun along the Red Route, or loop back along the North Western side of Mount Mullaghmore to Lough Gealain. We opted for the Blue route.
From Lough Gealain track your steps back to the paved road and then to the car park.