The Arigna Mines in County Leitrim in the north midlands of Ireland were exploited for over four hundred years to extract iron and coal.
The village of Arigna was the centre of the industry, and the Miner’s Way and Historical Trail is a 118km-long figure-of-eight walking route that starts and ends at Arigna.
The route is a varied one that manages to touch on three lakes, Lough Allen, Lough Arrow and Lough Key and crosses three low mountain ranges, Corry Mountain, the Curlew Mountains and the Bricklieve Mountains.
Other attractions that may tempt walkers to linger along the way include the Arigna Mining Experience, an interpretative centre for the mines and their history, the 12th century Cistercian Boyle Abbey, and Carrowkeel Neolithic cemetery, which consists of fourteen passage graves topped by stone cairns dating from around 3,000 BC.
The route is a complex one that requires constant vigilance for waymarks. Many of the entrances to the old network of underground mines remain open on the hillsides around: they are dangerous and should be avoided.
The terrain on the route consists mainly of a variety of quiet tarmac roads, paths across fields, open (and often wet) moorland and forestry paths. The aggregate ascent over the entire route is about 2,600 metres. Overnight accommodation is good in the area.
For information call +353 (0)71 966 3033
Length: 62km/39 miles
Time: May take up to 3 days
Highest point: Corry Mountain, 421m /1,380 ft
Terrain: The Way follows tracks and roads: however these are rough and muddy in places. The Way also crosses high and exposed hills in places, notably at Corrie and Kilronan Mountain.
OS Sheet Numbers: 25, 26 and 33
Map Reference: 929 141 starting point