Monasteries of the Moy Greenway and Cycle Route - Visit North Mayo

The Monasteries of the Moy Greenway and Cycle Route is a 14km, mixed-terrain cycle route between Ballina and Killala, and one of a number of Greenway routes in Mayo. The name comes from the many well-preserved monastic remains that dot the North Mayo coastline, including the Augustinian Abbey in Ballina, Rosserk Friary, Moyne Abbey and Rathfran Abbey.

The Monasteries of the Moy Route is a cultural and historical route, incorporating two stretches of greenway, linked by a quiet off-road route that brings cyclists right by Rosserk Abbey and Moyne Abbey – two stunning abbeys that are well worth exploring.

Points of interest

As well as the monasteries themselves, there are lots of treasures to discover along the entire route, many of them in Belleek Woods itself, so it’s worth making time to divert off the track while you’re there.

Monasteries of the Moy Route map
Monasteries of the Moy route map and points of interest

Bike Hire

If you’re visiting the area, Ballina Bike Hire can ensure you get to explore the whole of the Monasteries of the Moy Greenway, both on-road and off-road.

Hire a bike

Ballina Bike Hire

Quay Road, Ballina, Co. Mayo

Phone: +353 (0)85 110 8969


Email: [email protected]

High-quality bicycles for rent from Ballina and Enniscrone, including electric bikes. Rental bike delivery available in Mayo & parts of Sligo.

The Monasteries of the Moy Route

The route starts in Ballina in Belleek Woods and runs through the forest and its myriad of off-road tracks and trails.

Minimum gear required throughout: Walking Shoes, Waterproofs, Mobile Phone, Snacks & Fluids

Ice house in Belleek Woods, Ballina. Co. Mayo Ireland Belleek Forest
The Ice House, Belleek Woods

Stage 1: Ballina – Belleek (Greenway, off-road)

Belleek is one of the largest urban woodlands in Europe, and within this mixed woodland, you’ll find historical sites of interest and curiosities including the Ice House, the Mausoleum, the lime kiln, the old famine wall, the stone quay, and of course Belleek Castle. You may also catch a glimpse of Ireland’s native red squirrel, a protected species, translocated here in 2007 and now thriving.

Follow the trail through Belleek Woods with the River Moy at your right, and leaving the woods, you will turn North onto the Old French Road, named for General Humbert’s march from Killala during the 1798 Rebellion.

Distance: 2.5km (one-way, off-road excludes trails)
Trailhead: Belleek Woods, past Ballina Town FC
Duration: Walking – Allow up to 60 mins. Cycling – allow up to 20 mins – but longer if you’d like to explore the woods properly!
Trail Waymarking: Greenway Signage
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Stage 2 – Ballina – Moyne (on-road)

Along this route, you will have the opportunity to visit the well-preserved ruins of Rosserk Abbey and Moyne Abbey, as well as Tobar Mhuire (Mary’s Well). All will be located on your right hand side along the route.

Rosserk Abbey, Killala, Ballina, Co. Mayo. Monasteries of the Moy Greenway
Rosserk Abbey. Photo: Bartek Rybacki/Shutterstock

This stretch is approximately 6.5km, and takes in a quiet country road. There are some hills, so a moderate level of fitness is required.

If you visit Rosserk, upon returning to the main route, continue until you reach the sign for the off-road Greenway Trail. From here, you’ll have the option to continue a little further to visit Moyne Abbey on your right, or continue left along the peaceful off-road
Greenway trail to Killala.

Please note: Moyne Abbey is not currently fully accessible from the roadside. It has not been developed as a modern tourist site, and visitor access is currently via a stile and a right-of-way across private land. This is especially relevant for visitors with impaired mobility. Visitors are asked to take care and to be mindful of livestock along the route.

Distance: 6.5km (one-way, on-road)
Trailhead: Knockatinole, at end of Belleek Woods
Duration: Walking – Allow 60-90 mins. Cycling – allow 20-40 mins
Trail Waymarking: Greenway and road signage
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Stage 3 – Moyne – Killala (Greenway, off-road)

This stage takes in a flat, pleasant off-road route cross-country, where you’ll spot lots of bird life and animals and scenic wetlands. After you go under the old railway bridge, you’ll cross the main Ballina-Killala Road at a designated crossing and follow a scenic path e right into the heart of historic Killala, passing Killala House, and arriving via the Town Park where there’s a playground for the little ones to enjoy.

The old Railway Bridge on the Monasteries of the Moy Greenway. Photo: Anna Connor
The old Railway Bridge on the Monasteries of the Moy Greenway. Photo: Anna Connor

From there, explore the town of Killala with its round tower, ancient Cathedral, Heritage Trail and Pier. Nearby, there are also nearby Ross, Lacken and Kilcummin beaches to explore.

If you wanted to continue your exploration of the Abbeys, Rathfran Abbey is located approximately 8km away from Killala.

Distance: 5km (one-way, off-road)
Trailhead: Killala Town Park, behind St Patrick’s Cathedral
Duration: Walking – Allow 50-90 mins. Cycling – allow 20-30 mins
Trail Waymarking: Greenway and road signage
Level of Difficulty: Easy

READ: Explore the Abbeys of North Mayo

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