This walk is becoming a bit of a habit – this is my third time this year doing the entire walk and I’ve done part of it a fourth time. Anyway, it’s a nice walk and quite close to home so it doesn’t require a lot of planning. It is basically a matter of parking up in Keadue and setting off at a reasonable hour of the morning.
After a couple of kilometres of a road-walk towards Arigna, you quickly start to ascend for fabulous views over the countryside.
There is a good steep climb up an old foot-path until you come to a sweat house right by the pass. I had a look in here on a previous walk but I didn’t bother stopping here.
After this, you’re properly up on the mountain in peace an quiet. The heather up here is even more spectacular than that on my home walk. The weather was quite annoying with regular light showers that just got heavy enough to make you put your rain jacket on before stopping.
There is the usual view of Sliabh Aniarann covered in clouds. The only time I’ve managed to see the mountain from here was an inverse view where everything else was covered in clouds and the peak was poking out.
I trundled on towards the wind-farm that runs along the ridge. It was becalmed today though so nothing was moving.
I wasn’t exactly making great time but then I wasn’t in much of a hurry. I stopped for a snack at the abandoned mineworks before rejoining the road for a bit. The way-marking here is a bit weak but I know the way so it isn’t so much of a problem. In particular, you need to very careful about leaving the track towards the saint’s grave. There is an abandoned engine which you need to pass on the track above it. From here, a single waymarker is just visible in the distance. If you pass this engine with it on your right, you’re going the wrong way.
From here it’s another couple of kilometres before you join the Miners’ Way track that leads you down towards Ballyfarnon.
This track winds its way down the mountain and gradually turns into a proper road before crossing a stream and heading back towards some form of civilisation. I stopped again for coffee and a snack for a few minutes and resolved to have a lunch break at Ballyfarnon.
From here the route is mostly a lowland road walk but it’s mostly along very minor roads and a couple of kilometres are along a green road. I arrived into Ballyfarnon at about 1:30 and had a 20 minute break for soup, a sandwich and some crisps.
I had a nice final few kilometres through the Kilronan castle grounds. I spotted this interesting little fungus on the forest track.
After passing through the old castle gate, I made my way alongside the road into Keadue. I stopped at the graveyard there to try to find O’Carolan’s grave but didn’t have any luck. I made into Keadue around 3:30 a bit over six hours after I left.