Hen, Cock and Pigeon Rock

(3 reviews)

A circular route in the western Mournes giving a taster of views that can be experienced in the region. The walker will ascend Hen, Cock and Pigeon Rock Mountains using open mountain terrain before descending through a valley to the starting car park.

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Hen, Cock and Pigeon Rock



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  • Completed Hen and Cock with family, youngest 9. Hen was easy enough climb with Cock much steeper. Views well worth the climb though!

    Stuart at 10:39 am
  • A great one to get straight into the ascent. Easy to spend time traversing the tors at Hen Mountain. A steep climb to get to the peak of Cock Mountain, which offers a unique view of the Mournes. The trail to Pigeon Rock Mountain was wet and faded to sheep tracks towards the base. You are met with a stile over the Mourne Wall at its summit and maybe the name Pigeon Rock comes from the white and black speckled dry stone here. Decending from here to the dirt road was very wet and I was surprised to see mountain bike tracks at this point. A gentle walk back to the starting point, reviewing the three conquered peaks to the east. I would like to do this one another time in drier conditions.

    Gareth McGivern at 10:05 am
  • A great one to get straight into the ascent. Easy to spend time traversing the tors at Hen Mountain. A steep climb to get to the peak of Cock Mountain, which offers a unique view of the Mournes. The trail to Pigeon Rock Mountain was wet and faded to sheep tracks towards the base. You are met with a stile over the Mourne Wall at its summit and maybe the name Pigeon Rock comes from the white and black speckled dry stone here. Decending from here to the dirt road was very wet and I was surprised to see mountain bike tracks at this point. A gentle walk back to the starting point, reviewing the three conquered peaks to the east. I would like to do this one another time in drier conditions.

    Gareth McGivern at 12:15 pm
  • County Down

    Distance 5.9 miles

    OS Map Sheet 29

    Terrain Loose surface tracks, open mount

    Nearest Town Hilltown

    Route Shape Circular

    Grid Reference J23292 27727

    Route Type Mountain

    Leave Sandbank Car Park and cross the Sandbank Road to Hen track, directly opposite. Follow Hen track up to the gate. After the stone wall follow the well worn track cross country to ascend Hen Mountain. From here there is no constructed path on the route until the Hen Track is rejoined later at the Rowan Tree River. At the summit, explore the impressive collection of tors popular with rock climbers. From the south tor descend south east before starting the steeper ascent up Cock Mountain. Ascend Cock Mountain from where there are impressive views of Spelga Dam Reservoir to the east. Descend Cock Mountain in a south south easterly direction to flatter ground which can be boggy, before ascending Pigeon Rock Mountain to meet Batts Wall at its summit. Follow Batts Wall initially in a south easterly direction and then in a south westerly direction to the col between Pigeon Rock Mountain and Slievemoughanmore, where you will meet the upper stretch of the Rowan Tree River. Follow the river to join Hen track. Follow the track back to Sandbank Road Car Park.

    Hen Mountain, Cock Mountain, Pigeon Rock Mountain

    The walk starts at the Sandbank Road Car Park. To get here follow the Kilkeel Road out of Hilltown for 2.9 km, turn right at the Sandbank Road crossroads and continue for 1.4 km, Hen car park is on the right hand side.

    Translink – journeyplanner.translink.co.uk

    Dogs are not allowed.

    Car park and picnic facilities available at Sandbank Road Car Park

    Grade 5

    • There may not be a formalised path, and variable, single file trails are to be expected.
    • Gradients and cross slope could be expected to be steep and not limited.
    • Obstacles and surface breaks of greater than 75mm measured across the line of the path to be expected.
    • Overhanging branches are possible. Passing places and rest areas may not be formalised or provided.