Duration: 3-4 hours
A more challenging walk with great views over the surrounding hills and beautiful heart-shaped Lough Ouler. Although there are paths along the full route, these are often remarkably hard to find and so in practice much of the route can end up being off-path, which can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on your inclination.
- Start at the car park at the top of the Glenmacnass waterfall. Although the route can be walked clockwise or anti-clockwise, I would recommend the clockwise direction as it makes the descent easier (remember I said that the paths can be hard to find !). At the car park cross the river to the woods on the opposite side – there are stepping stones that can be used to make the crossing. Walk along the river bank to the right to reach the edge of the woods and then strike out uphill staying close to the edge of the woods. There is a path here, but it can be very overgrown in summer. Its a steep climb for about 100m and then levels off at the top of the woods and Tonelagee can be seen ahead.
- There is an old, overgrown road running along the top of the woods. Follow this to the right and find the path off to the left that heads up to Tonelagee. The walk up to the summit is now straightforward, with great views over Lough Ouler on the right-hand side.
- From the summit, follow the path northwards towards Stoney Top keeping Lough Ouler on your right. After a short distance you’ll see a standing stone with cross carved on it.
- At the standing stone bear right and start descending. Lough Ouler will still be on the right. Note that it is also possible to continue on to Stoney Top and descend from there, but it can be very boggy so I wouldn’t recommend it.
- Once you reach Lough Ouler, follow the edge of the lough round to the right and pick up the clear path running beside the Lough Brook that flows out from Lough Ouler. Follow this path down to the Genmacnass river.
- Now cross the Glenmacnass river. There are stepping stones here, and at the other side of the river is a small wood. Return back to the car park along the river. There is a fairly clear path running alongside the river for the whole distance.
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