Mountain Range: Comeragh MountainsWalk: Coumduala Loop
Wow Factor: Fantastic views, lakes, small waterfall.
Distance: 9km
Duration: 3.5-4.5hrs
OSI: 75
Starting/Finish Point: S278 127 Nire Valley Car Park
Rating: Officially rated as hard- above average level of fitness. In my opinion I would rate it as moderate, take your time it’s a marathon not a sprint.
This has to be one of my favourite walks in the Comeraghs. Starting at the Nire Valley car park follow the way markers for the Coumduala loop, you can also follow the way markers for The Gap until you reach the stile but instead of crossing over the stile continue upwards keeping the fence on your right. Use the fence as a handrail and follow it up hill. It will start to get a bit tougher here as the terrain gets steeper but stop and look around see how far you have climbed admire the scenery this isn’t a race. You will notice you are gaining height quite fast. Continuing onwards feet slipping, heart pumping thinking surely any minute now I am going to die the ground levels off, thank the lord!
You will see the Knockanaffrin Ridge ahead of you, continue following the fence. You are getting closer to the top now. It looks worse than it is. As you near the top you will come across a stile to your right and a stile directly ahead of you. Cross over the stile directly in front of you but beware there is quiet a drop at the other side. From here you can look down on Coumduala Lough this is one of the best spots to stop for a cup of tea so rest for a bit and enjoy the views.
When you manage to break yourself away from the scenic views cross back over the stile and now cross over the stile on your left heading in an easterly direction with the fence on your left. Should you encounter poor visibility just remember to follow the fence downhill. After a small bit more climbing the route will descend and level out to reach what’s known as “The Gap”. From here you have two options you can follow the track from the gap back to the car park (approx. 1hr) or you can continue out to the view the Sgilloge Loughs.
If you decide you want to see the Loughs then fantastic you won’t be disappointed. From the gap walk approx. 100m eastwards with the fence on your left until you come to the next way marker. At the way marker turn right and you will find a distinct trail leading off in a south westerly direction. It will take approx. 1 hour to reach the Loughs but there are way markers along the way. A good tick off point to note will be the stream crossing. You are approx. halfway there at this stage. Keep the way markers in sight and you will be fine. The trail takes a left, try to keep the high ground no point making hard for yourself with one last climb now up and into the Loughs, find a nice spot to sit and rest while enjoying the views. Relax sit back and have a cup of tea you deserve it.
Stop now and listen, what do you hear? I hear the waterfall splashing of the rocks as it flows continuously from the heights above me downwards to disappear before the Lough and nothing else other than the sounds of nature. No cars, no TV, no problems. And this is why I hike.
When you eventually pry yourself away from the serenity of the Lough follow the way markers out and down towards the fence. Follow the fence around to the left until it turns right and follow the fence and the way markers down and off the hill to cross the bridge and out on to a track and back to civilisation. Well done another adventure completed.