Frequently Asked Questions
The trail is almost complete. Do bare in mind that it is very new and will take several years to be up to the standard of other popular trails around the world. Some stages are well developed and others are not fully way-marked or may even be overgrown in parts. A number of people have walked the trail in its entirety and it is not without challenges!
Join the Ireland Way Facebook Group Page to follow updates from hikers on the trail or ask questions.
YOU WILL GET LOST
A GPS is still essential so that you can regularly check that you are still on track. Check maps with your current location if you have not seen a way-marker for a while. Some stages are very well way-marked and others are not. Expect to wander off track once or twice!
YOU WILL FIND A PLACE TO STAY
Some parts of the trail have plenty of accommodation, others are lacking. There is also not much budget accommodation. Most hikers are finding wild-camping the best way to do the trail. If you prefer to stay in accommodation such as Bed & Breakfasts, it will require planning along the way and the occasional taxi if the accommodation is off-trail. Hikers are finding local people to be very helpful in giving advice for a camping spot or the nearest accommodation. There will always be a place to stay; just be willing to take a taxi off-trail sometimes.
YOU WILL GET WET
Roughly 50% of the trail is on road. The 50% that is off-road goes through fields and often boggy areas. Hikers have reporting being "ankle deep". Use hiking poles. Wear waterproof socks. Waterproof everything! Summer is the driest time of year and the ground is much more firm, but bogs are wet all year round.
THE TRAIL IS NOT FULLY FINISHED
The Leitrim Way is under re-development so official maps are not yet available, however, the latest update is that all new way-marking is now in place. The Lung/Lough Gara Way is still undergoing re-routing. Way-markers are still lacking in a few other parts of the trail.
The cycle trail is mostly on road and overlaps with the walking trail in many parts, roughly 50%. The Beara-Breifne Way cycle trail is not fully way-marked. The Ulster Way does not have an official cycle route, however most of the trail is on road. You cannot cycle the walking route due to hundreds of stiles, farmland with cattle and unsuitable terrain. To date, no one has cycled the entire route on the cycle trail but some are intending to do it summer 2019. Join the Facebook Group Page to see how they get on.
Ulster Way Note:
Stages 14 and 19 are called 'link sections' and it is advised to use transport for these two sections as they follow busy roads. For more information go to www.walkNI.co.uk/ulsterway
Where can I find maps for the trail?
A guidebook with maps and accommodation for the trail is available in our Shop. Alternatively, maps for complete sections are available to download for free from www.IrishTrails.ie and www.WalkNI.com/ulsterway. There are also Beara-Breifne Way maps on noticeboards in most towns which may be useful to photograph as you pass them.
Guidebook Updates to 2nd Edition
Stage 1, Beara Way, Castletownbere - camping available at the back of McCarthys Bar. Enquire in the bar.
Stage 2, Slí Gaeltacht Mhuscraí, Ballingeary - accommodation with Mary Murphy, Inchigeelagh B&B, 0863627209.
Stage 3, North West Cork Way, Newmarket - accommodation in the village in Scanlon's Bar. To book phone 029 60003.
Stage 9, Lung/Lough Gara Way is still undergoing re-routing and way-markers are in place for both the old and new route which makes it confusing at times.
Stage 11, Leitrim Way has been undergoing re-development, however it seems that most if not all way-markers are now in place, so even though maps are not available, it should be easy to follow on the ground.