Wild Nephin National Park, established in November 1998 it is Ireland’s sixth National Park and is located on the Western seaboard in North West Mayo.
The park comprises of 11,000 hectares (110 km²) of Atlantic blanket bog and mountainous terrain, covering a vast uninhabited and unspoilt wilderness dominated by the Nephin Beg mountain range.
The area includes the beguiling Nephin Wilderness Park. Between Nephin beg and Slieve Carr, at 721 metres above sea level, the highest mountain in the range, lie the Scardaun Loughs.
International Dark Sky Park
In a major success for the park, in 2016, the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) granted Gold Tier International Dark Sky Park status to Wild Nephin National Park recognising it as Mayo International Dark Sky Park.
A Gold Tier classification is an honour reserved for the most exceptional of dark skies and breathtaking nightscapes. This recognition completes the ‘360 degree experience’ that the North Mayo national park has to offer, boasting pristine beauty underfoot, all around and up above.
Wild Nephin National Park is also the first national park in Ireland to be designated an International Dark Sky Park.
Features of the National Park
To the west of the mountains is the Owenduff bog. This is one of the last intact active blanket bog systems in Ireland and Western Europe and is an important scientific and scenic feature of the National Park.
The National Park also protects a variety of other important habitats and species. These include alpine heath, upland grassland, heath and lakes and river catchments. Greenland White-fronted geese, Golden plover, Red Grouse and Otters are just some of the important fauna found within the Park.
The park itself part of the Owenduff / Nephin Complex Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Area (SPA). These European designations are part of the Natura 2000 Network, which protect rare and important habitats and species under the EU Habitats and Birds Directive.
Ballycroy Visitor Centre at Wild Nephin National Park
The Visitor Centre is the main Information Point for Wild Nephin National Park. It opened in 2009 and has welcomed visitors from all over the world to Ballycroy and County Mayo.
Relax and enjoy the hospitality at the Ballycroy Visitor Centre which houses an interactive exhibition, experienced guides, Ginger & Wild Café. One can also enjoy the accessible Tóchar Daithí Bán Nature Trail from the centre (2km).
They run Special Events throughout the year and regular Guided Walks and Kids Clubs during the Summer months. Keep an eye on their News & Events page for upcoming walks, talks and activities.
Email: [email protected]; Call: +353 (0)98 49888
Address: Ballycroy Visitor Centre – Wild Nephin National Park, Gortbrack South, Ballycroy, Co. Mayo, F28 RX77