These neighbouring hills in the Bluestack Mountains are quite near home, and I’ve previously posted on Croaghnameal, but I’ve never walked Croaghmeen until now. It was a nice Saturday afternoon, and I found myself with a bit of spare time, so took the trip to the same starting point as my previous walk on Croaghnameal, just through Killeter Forest, on the Donegal side. From here, Croaghnameal is virtually on the route to Croaghmeen anyway, so I thought I might as well pass over its summit again as well. Although it was a pleasant evening, it was very hazy, and distant views in particular, were obscured.
Just starting out on the slopes of Croahnameal, looking back to the south and the starting point. On my previous visit, from here I could see Cuilcagh Mountain in Fermanagh, but today it was invisible through the haze.
The first stage of the walk is complete upon reaching the top of Croaghnameal, with a cairn marking the top, overlooking the small Croaghnameal Lough.
From Croaghnameal, I could now look across the Barnesyneilly Valley to Croaghmeen and its forested Southern slopes. To reach it, I would need to descend the steep northern side of Croaghnameal, into the valley, and ascend Croaghmeen, staying to the east of the trees.
Croaghmeen has a large, broad summit area, covered in smaller bumps and hollows, and the little Lough Ancarn. The particular bump which contains the highest point lies just to the southeast of the lough, but has no cairn or trig pillar to mark the spot.
Having visited the summit, I went along the ridge to the west, to another high point, only just lower than the top.
After visiing the second, minor summit, it was time to make my way back to the starting point, via Croaghnameal again. Before I could descend to cross the Barnesyneilly Valley, I first had to go back east to get round the forested area. This time I travelled along the south face of Croaghmeen, rather than along the top.
Despite the haze, which made for murky photographs, it had been a great afternoon, and good conditions for walking. The shots I had taken to the west looking towards Donegal Bay were so bad I didn’t even bother to process them. Given how poor the shots I posted here are, you can imagine how bad they were! But, I had spent almost four hours walking the two summits, and explored another little corner of the Bluestack Mountains so I was happy with the outing regardless.