Ballynahinch Castle stands overlooking the eponymous lake. Today a luxury hotel, the building was originally the home of the powerful Martin family, who ruled over Connemara from 1700 till the tragic period of the Great Famine in 1846-48. The best-known exponent of this great family was Richard (Dick) Martin, founder of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), who was for that reason nicknamed "Humanity Dick"
All the area is dominated by the view of the Twelve Bens, particularly Bencorr (710 mt) and Benlettery (580 mt), while the lake in front of the Castle -fed by the river of the same name - is home to Ballynahinch Fisheries, a world-renowned fishing area for salmon and rainbow trout. The Reserve is carefully managed, to regulate and monitor the reproduction and the delicate ecosystem of these two species.
Driving along N59 from Clifden to Galway it's possible to see on the right the ruins of O'Flaherty castle, dating back to 1580 and located on a small island in the middle of the lake.