Bluestack Way

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On the Bluestack Way

The Bluestack Way (Irish: Bealach na gCruach)[1] is a long-distance walking route forty miles long through the Bluestack Mountains in County Donegal.

The route begins in Donegal Town and ends in Ardara. It is typically completed in three days.[2] The route is designated as a National Waymarked Trail by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council and is managed by the Bluestack Way Management Committee.[2]

The trail was first proposed by a local environmental group, the Bluestack Environmental Group, and was opened in 2000.[3] Construction was carried out by workers on a Community Employment Scheme.[3] A review of the National Waymarked Trails in 2010 considered that the trail was suitable to be upgraded to a National Long Distance Trail, a proposed new standard of trail in Ireland intended to meet international standards for outstanding trails, and also recommended that the development of looped walks off the main route should be considered.

The route

Starting in Donegal Town, the trail heads north to reach Lough Eske before crossing the Bluestack Mountains to the village of Glenties.[4] From Glenties, it follows the course of the Owenea River to the end of the trail at Ardara.

Conceptual connections

The Bluestack Way is proposed to be included in the Irish leg of the 'International Appalachian Trail', an extension of the Appalachian Trail through Canada to Newfoundland, to all terrain that formed part of the Appalachian Mountains of Pangaea, including Ireland.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Bluestack Way)


  1. The Bluestack Way: Placenames Database of Ireland
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bluestack Way - Irish Trails (Irish Sports Council)
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Walking project backed all the way". The Irish Times (Dublin): p. 2. 28 January 2000. 
  4. The Bluestacks Way map - Irish Trails
Long-distance footpaths in the Republic of Ireland

National Waymarked Trails:   Ballyhoura WayBarrow WayBealach na Gaeltachta, Dún na nGallBeara WayBlackwater WayBluestack WayBurren WayCavan WayCroagh Patrick Heritage TrailDingle WayDublin Mountains WayEast Clare WayEast Munster WayGrand Canal WayHymany WayKerry WayLough Derg WayMid Clare WayMiners Way and Historical TrailMonaghan WayMulteen WayNore Valley WayNorth Kerry WayOffaly WayRoyal Canal WaySheep's Head WaySlieve Bloom WaySlieve Felim WaySligo WaySouth Leinster WaySuck Valley WayTáin WayTipperary Heritage WayWestern WayWestmeath WayWicklow Way

Greenways:   Boyne GreenwayDublin-Galway GreenwayGreat Southern TrailGreat Western Greenway

Others:   Bangor TrailMalin to Mizen