There are some days when I'm in Ireland that really surprise me, this was one of those days.
Connemara National Park
The Connemara National Park, located in County Galway in the west of Ireland, encompasses 2,000 hectares of picturesque mountains, bogs, heaths, grasslands, and forests. The famed Twelve Bens or Beanna Beola range includes some of the Park's mountains, including Benbaun, Bencullagh, Benbrack, and Muckanaght. In 1980, Connemara National Park was formed and officially opened to the public.
Near the top of Diamond Hill
The Diamond Hill is a 7km trail through Connemara National Park. It's about a two-hour loop walk in Connemara, this route follows gravel paths, a wooden boardwalk, and steps up the slopes of magnificent Diamond Hill. It's fairly easy to hike but I was on a time restriction as I was on tour, and couldn't make it to the top. I think it would be a nice half-a-day hike but keep in mind from Galway, it's about an hour and a half drive. I took a tour that drove past several smaller towns, visited the Connemara Gaint, and enjoyed the nice beaches and lakes.
While walking up the mountain, I met tourists and locals, all of who have never been here before. A story that stuck out with me was about an older gentleman who was near the top and paused to take a break where I was standing. We got to talking and he said he only lives down the road but has never been before! He took the words out of my mouth when he said "It's hard to believe I'm in Ireland".
I can't wait to go back and hike this trail again, hopefully making it to the top!