The breath-taking Tourmakeady Waterfall (located in Tourmakeady Woods) is one of my favourite places to visit in Mayo.
Located in County Mayo, a 30-minute drive from Westport, the Tourmakeady Woods are a magical place to connect with nature and get away from everyday life for a few hours.
Within the woods you’ll find the stunning Tourmakeady Waterfall, an area of pure tranquility. There’s a lovely circular walk you can take to get up close and personal.
In the guide below, you’ll find everything you need to know about the Tourmakeady Woods walk, from parking and how long it takes to where to visit nearby.
Some quick need-to-knows about the Tourmakeady Waterfall walk
Although a visit to Tourmakeady Woods in Mayo is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
Tourmakeady is a small village on the banks of Lough Mask, surrounded by woodlands and streams. Tourmakeady Waterfall can be found around 2.5 km from the town, hidden amid the ancient woods.
2. Where it starts/finishes
The walk officially begins in the middle of Tourmakeady. Head to the community centre and follow the purple signs along the main road. If you’d prefer to skip the first section in the village, you can park up at the entrance to the woods and follow the arrows from there.
3. How long it takes
The Tourmakeady Waterfall walk will typically take around an hour and half to complete, depending on how long you spend taking photos or enjoying the tranquility of the woods and waterfall.
About Tourmakeady Woods
Tourmakeady Woods is hundreds of years old, filled with magic and mystery, as well as a wide and diverse array of fauna and flora.
Wildlife in Tourmakeady Woods
The woodlands are home to various critters, birds, and perhaps the occasional fairy. Keep your eyes peeled for red squirrels, Sitka deer, the Long-tailed Tit, Kingfishers, and Dippers.
Trees in Tourmakeady Woods
These ancient woodlands are semi-natural. Having once been privately owned, some degree of management has been carried out over the last few hundred years, however for the most part, the ancient trees have stood the test of time. Common species include Sitka spruce, birch, ash and holly.
A guide to the Tourmakeady Waterfall walk
Now you know the basics, let’s strap on our boots and get going! The Tourmakeady Waterfall walk follows purple arrows that are visible from the starting point.
Kicking the walk off
The walk officially starts in the centre of the village, with the community centre being a good start point. Face away from the community centre and turn left, and you’ll soon see the purple arrows guiding your way.
This first section follows the main road, passing through the traditional village. You’ll pass O’Toole’s Shop, a good place to stock up on hiking snacks!
Take a right onto the paved forestry road, and follow it for around 1 km until you reach the car park. Head for the information board, then veer right.
Getting into the belly of the walk
From here we head into the woods! Follow the path, and you’ll soon pass through a wooden gate. Continue along the forestry road for around 500 metres, until you reach a 3-way junction.
Pass the metal barrier, and take a left, following the path for about 100 metres. You’ll soon notice a woodland track on your right, take it and follow it along the shore of the lake.
Soon enough you’ll rejoin the forestry road, and you’ll take a left here. After around 200 metres you’ll reach another 3-way junction, take a left, and the path sweeps round for another 200 metres. Take the next left and pass through the metal barrier.
Meeting Tourmakeady Waterfall
You’re almost there now! Follow the purple arrows as they lead you along the forestry road, now on the other side of the lake you passed earlier. When you reach the 3-way junction, continue straight ahead for around 200 metres, where the sandy path ends.
Pass through the wooden gate and join the woodland path, enjoying the beautiful scenery all around. After another 500 metres or so, you’ll arrive at the majestic waterfall. Take in your surroundings and enjoy the tranquility. When you’re ready, join the sandy forestry roadway.
The walk back to the starting point
As you head back, follow the sandy path for around 1 km until you reach the Tourmakeady Wood car park. At the information board, turn right and head back 1 km to the main road. From here, you can walk back to wherever you’re parked.
Things to do near Tourmakeady Woods
The Tourmakeady Waterfall walk is wonderful, though short and sweet. If you’re looking for other things to do while you’re in the area, you’re in luck – the woods are a stone’s throw from some of the best things to do in Mayo.
1. Head for a ramble around Cong
From Tourmakeady Woods, the quaint village of Cong is just a 30-minute drive or so. It’s well worth visiting while you’re in this neck of the woods, famed for its quirky pubs, shops, and olde-worlde charm. Steeped in history and awash with fascinating sights, there’s plenty to keep you occupied. It’s best-known as the location for the 1952 John Wayne classic, The Quiet Man.
2. Grab a coffee from the cafe at Ashford Castle and take a stroll
From Cong, you’re a stone’s throw away from the immense Ashford Castle. Originally dating back to the 12th century, it’s grown considerably over the years and now operates as a luxury hotel. The grounds are stunningly beautiful with amazing lake views, and there are plenty of activities to indulge in. This is one of the swankiest hotels in Mayo for good reason.
3. Visit Westport
Just 25 km from Tourmakeady you’ll find the charming town of Westport. Located on the banks of the Carrowbeg River as it flows into the sea, the town is one of intricate stone bridges, beautiful old buildings and quirky local shops, pubs, cafes, and restaurants. See our guide to the best things to do in Westport for more.
FAQs about visiting Tourmakeady Woods
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from how long does the Tourmakeady Waterfall Walk take to what to see nearby.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
How long is the Tourmakeady Waterfall Walk?
The walk will typically take around an hour and half to complete, depending on how long you spend lingering.
Is Tourmakeady Woods worth visiting?
Yes. This is a great place to escape to, especially if you’re visiting Westport and you want to escape the hustle and bustle for a while.
What is there to see near Tourmakeady?
You’ve everywhere from Cong and Croagh Patrick to Westport a short spin from the woods.
Andy was once on a glorious worldwide trip on his equally glorious motorcycle. After 4 years, he’d still only made it as far as Eastern Europe, before falling in love with his surroundings and deciding to settle down a while. Nowadays, he spends his time writing about traveling through the places he once explored, normally while sipping a pint.