Moving time  2 hours 34 minutes

Time  3 hours 20 minutes

Coordinates 1930

Uploaded June 21, 2019

Recorded June 2019

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-
1,839 f
1,003 f
0
1.7
3.4
6.9 mi

Viewed 58 times, downloaded 2 times

near Kilcoo, Northern Ireland (United Kingdom)

A nice loop around hills that are rarely frequented, with an interesting little gully. A fair bit is off piste, and a bit boggy in some parts, but overall the going is fairly straightforward. Could also be done by parking at the Ott carpark and initially climbing up to Slievenamuck.

From the Spelga carpark walk down the road until you reach a road in on the left leading to gates (locked) with a sign No Parking, No Camping. I hopped over the wall beside the gates and walked down to the stream (start of the River Bann) and crossed over to the far side. (I'm not sure if there are times when the river is too big to cross, and you'd have to walk down the busy road to where the Ulster Way crosses it instead.) Walking down the narrow path on the left side of the river you pass an old footbridge and arrive at the new footbridge. Cross the bridge, walk up the far side and cross (with care!) the busy road.

Cross the stile by the Ulster Way sign and walk alongside the fence on your left. You pass a stream and a pen for animals, as well as a round sheep enclosure on the hill opposite on your left. Arriving at an obvious valley you see 2 gullies up to the right. It's the right hand one which is more interesting. You can go up either side, or up the middle. I went up the middle but found the stretch just near the top very challenging - using both hands to scramble up a narrow slippy waterfall. Or you can go half way up the middle of the gully, then cut up left up an easy path to get to the higher ground.

Once at the top of the gully turn left and contour round the hillside (no paths) to the little peak of Craigdoo with lovely views to Lough Island Reavy and beyond to Slieve Croob.

Then contour back around the hillside, generally maintaining a higher line until you reach the broad Ulster Way path. You can follow it most of the way to Spelga mountain, with lovely views over the reservoir.

Retrace your steps back along the Ulster Way, continuing past where you previously joined it. One possibility is to go as far as the fence with the Ulster Way symbol on a post (see photo) then turn right along the fence, and right again (following the subsequent Ulster Way symbol) on Butter Mountain to lead to the Slievenamuck peak. Instead I followed a little path which cut the corner, but the start of this path is easy to overlook. It's just after you pass an area of flat rock on the path, maybe100m before the fence (see photo). Both options have some parts which are a bit boggy.

Once you reach Slievenamuck it's a pleasant walk down a broad track to the car park (remembering to retie the cord keeping the gate at the bottom closed).
Photo

Spelga reservoir and dam

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Dam from below

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New bridge, much used by Duke of Edinburghers (and sheep)

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View towards Hilltown

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Stream

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Gully

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View from Craigdoo

Intersection

A path!

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Spelga reservoir and dam from Spelga mountain

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Ulster Way sign

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Turn right here

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Slievenamuck view

Comments

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