Croaghacullion Hill, Glencolmcille

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One of several loughs on Croaghacullion Hill.

 

After our visit to the standing stone and the ancient tomb, I continued my walk, aiming for the 374 meter high Croaghacullion – a hill to the north east of Glencolmcille.  After an initial stretch on the road, I found myself on a rough track leading up the hillside to the prominent communications masts.  Height was quickly gained with good views down over Glencolmcille to the coast.

 

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Taking the track up the hillside, looking out to Rossan Point.

 

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Looking across the Glencolmcille valley, with Slieve League in the distance.

 

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Glen Bay beach below in Glencolmcille.

 

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Looking back down the track as I ascended.

 

Reaching the communications masts, the track continued northwards on the waymarked Drum Loop Walk, but I left it at this point, turning east instead on to the open hillside of Croaghacullion.  I was now on steadily rising, heathery ground, sometimes rocky, sometimes peaty.  There had been a prolonged dry spell, but it was clear that at other times, this would be very boggy, wet terrain.

 

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A glimpse of the sea stacks at Port, to the north.

 

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The dry, peaty ground underfoot.

 

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The way ahead to the summit lay over a series of minor summits.

 

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Dried up moss – I was definitely getting the impression that under normal conditions this could be a bit of a wet slog.

 

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A few peat hags to get through, but not too bad in the dry weather.

 

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Glencolmcille now seemed a long way back.

 

 

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Clearer views now of the coast around Port.

 

Getting closer to the top, I found myself making my way between several small loughs nestled between the many hillocks and little summits.  They were picturesque, reflecting the bright blue colour of the almost cloudless sky.

 

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The summit lying on the high ground to the left of the lough.

 

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A second, smaller lough.

 

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A stone cairn on one of the lower summits.

 

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Passing between the first two loughs, I was getting closer to the top.  The ground up here was becoming more eroded, with large expanses of peat or bedrock being exposed.  It made for an unusual landscape.

 

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The bedrock and peat became increasingly exposed as I got closer to the top.

 

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A large area of exposed peat and rock.

 

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A view southwards.

 

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Sturrall Head just peeping up over the slopes to the west.

 

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South over the valley leading to Glencolmcille, with Slieve League on the right of the frame, and further behind on the left, the Dartry Mountains in Sligo and Leitrim.

 

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Passing between a second pair of small loughs, this one seemed about to spill over a narrow lip to the slopes below, appearing to almost merge with the ocean, although there is actually a fair bit of ground between.

 

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A very regular, pentagon shaped cross section in the rock.

 

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Another large eroded area.

 

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Looking back at the second pair of loughs I had passed between.

 

 

 

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The Slievetooey line of peaks to the north.

 

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Interesting shapes in dried out peat.

 

And, there I was on the summit, marked by a low cairn.  The views were stunning on this sunny, summer day.  North was the long line of Slievetooey summits, with Aran Island visible on the horizon.  Turning my gaze westwards I could look down on Port with its huge sea stacks, on to Sturrall Head, and Glen Head.  Then came Glencolmcille with its golden beach.  A little southwards was Rossan Point and Rathlin O’Birne Island, then Slieve League, with glimpses of the Dartry Mountains beyond.  Some of the best scenery in Donegal.

 

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The summit cairn, with Slievetooey to the north.

 

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A little more eastwards along the Slievetooey summits.

 

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Towards Port.

 

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Slieve League, with the Dartry Mountains on the horizon on the left.

 

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Time to start making my way back along much the same route.

 

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A fellow walker.

 

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And, one who’s walking days were over!

 

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On the way back, I veered north, joining the Drum Loop Walk trail a bit further on than where I had left it on the way up.

 

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Turf cut from the ground for fuel.

 

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Approaching Glencolmcille again, with a view over the beach to Rossan Point, with Rathlin O’Birne Island on the left.  North Mayo can be seen on the horizon.

 

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Almost down.

 

That was the end of the walk, and of our two day stay in Glencolmcille.  It had been a great couple of days with plenty of walking through amazing scenery taking in golden beaches, sea stacks and lofty cliffs, mountain and bog, antiquities and history, all in a compact little area.  A brilliant trip in a beautiful part of Donegal.

 

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