Having risen to prominence in recent years thanks to the breathtaking pictures across social media, the Tourmakeady Waterfall is not to be missed. Here is everything you need to know about this hidden gem!
Unbeknownst to many, County Mayo is home to one of the most beautiful places in Ireland. Nestled amongst the trees of the Tourmakeady People’s Millennium Forest, the magical Tourmakeady Waterfall is a delight to all who bear witness to it.
Frequented by waterfall-enthusiasts, photographers and local walkers, Tourmakeady Waterfall is an enchanting sight. This waterfall has been the site of countless photoshoots, proposals, and romantic gestures over the years.
The small town of Tourmakeady is situated between the Partry Mountains and the stunning Lough Mask. It is believed that in the past, Tourmakeady was home to an extensive oak forest.
While today Tourmakeady has a population of approximately 1,000 people, it is thought that this was much larger in the past.
Tourmakeady Wood was first planted in the mid-19th-century by Bishop Plunkett who managed the woodland in its early years.
Plunkett was also a hated landlord who was eventually forced to leave the area. While he may not have been the most well-liked of people, he left the area with an enchanting woodland.
When to visit – open all year round
As County Mayo‘s beautiful Tourmakeady Waterfall is situated amongst a “People’s Millennium Forest”, the waterfall can be accessed 365 days a year.
There are no set opening hours, so you can enjoy the magic of this phenomenal place at any time of the day or night.
The waterfall can be enjoyed no matter the weather. The varying weather conditions bring about a completely different experience when witnessing this incredible force of nature.
As Tourmakeady Waterfall is very much a hidden gem, this location is generally quiet and free from lots of visitors.
What to see – inspiring sights
As you commence this enchanting walk to the Tourmakeady Waterfall, you will become amazed by the tree-lined walkways.
The native Irish trees will lead you through a woodland wonderland. Such trees include oak, alder, birch, hazel, ash, and Scots pine.
As you meander your way through the forest, keep your eyes peeled for some of the spectacular wildlife that calls Tourmakeady home. From squirrels to foxes, badgers, pine martens, and lots of birdlife, the possibilities are endless.
The most breathtaking aspect of the walk through the woodland has to be when you approach the Tourmakeady Waterfall.
As one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Ireland, be sure to soak in the sounds of the waterfall and enjoy the beauty of this place. This is the perfect place to relax or have a picnic.
Enjoy the views of the entire forest from the highest point just after the waterfall. You will be treated to spectacular views of the whole woodland and the nearby lake.
By veering off the main trail, you will come upon a small lake. This man-made lake is stocked full of brown trout. This lake has become a world-famous destination for trout anglers in search of a big catch.
Things to know – useful information
The Tourmakeady Woodland walk that brings you to this magnificent waterfall is a 2.5 km (1.6 mi) long nature trail. It takes about one hour to complete this trail. However, we suggest leaving yourself more time so you can enjoy the incredible views.
The lake walk that is an offshoot of the main woodland walk is 1.5 km (0.9 mi) in length and take approximately 30 minutes to complete. This walk isn’t as steep as the main nature trail, and it links with the nature trail before returning to the car park.
Be aware that part of the walk is extremely steep as the trail goes to the highest point of the forest. This part of the walk may be inaccessible for those pushing a stroller, or for those with young children.
As this is a nature trail, the path can be extremely muddy after rainfall. As such, it is best to wear waterproof footwear that is suitable for climbing steep slopes.
We also suggest that you bring a rain jacket so that you are prepared for any showers.
There are a few seating areas along the trail, making for the perfect place to have a picnic. Bask in the views of this great area and immerse yourself in the sounds of nature.
Éamon de Valera, a former president of Ireland, met his wife while teaching at the local school. It is said that they courted at the Tourmakeady Waterfall before getting married.
Directions – how to get there
From the village of Partry, turn off the N84 and follow the signposts for Tourmakeady. Follow these signs for approximately 10 km (6.2 mi) before reaching the Community Centre in Tourmakeady.
From here, follow the purple arrows along this road for 984 ft (300 m) past O’Toole’s shop before reaching the entrance to the Millennium Forest. Follow the surfaced roadway for approximately 1 km (0.6 mi) before reaching the car park. Parking here is free.
Address: Tourmakeady, Co. Mayo