A circular route in the central Mournes taking in sites such as Annalong Wood, Slievelamagan, Ben Crom Reservoir, Cove Mountain and Annalong Valley, with views over the Irish Sea and to the Isle of Man.
Distance 8.3 miles
OS Map 29
Terrain Unsurfaced mountain paths
Nearest Town Hilltown
Route Shape Circular
Grid Reference J345219
Route Type Mountain
From Carricklittle car park, take the track leading up towards the mountains for 1km and cross the Mourne Wall using the stile/gate provided. Continue along the flat path for 1.8km keeping the Annalong Wood on your right. At the end of the wood, continue along the main path ascending towards the craggy outcrop of Percy Bysshe. This was used for bombing practice from off-shore ships during World War II. The path forks before this craggy outcrop, you should bear left passing the Blue Lough (on the right). Continue for another 500m to reach the col between Slieve Binnian and Slievelamagan (704m). You will see the path coming off Binnian on your left and a path leading up Slievelamagan on your right. Take this path to the right and continue to the col between Slievelamagan and Cove mountain. From here follow the path over Cove Mountain along the top of the crags. Continue along this path northwards to Slieve Beg passing the Devil’s Coach Road. Care should be taken here, especially in windy conditions. At the col between Slieve Beg and Slieve Commedagh, where the path meets the Brandy Pad, you should continue cross-country in a southerly direction for 250m to pick up the path that follows the Annalong River. Continue down this path for 3.25km, until you reach the wall at the northern end of the Annalong Wood. Follow the wall up to where it meets the main Carricklittle track again and retrace your steps back to the car park.
Annalong Wood, Blue Lough, Slievelamagan, Cove Mountain, Slieve Beg, Annalong River
The walk starts at Carricklittle car park. To get here follow the Moneydarragh Road out of Annalong for 1.3 km, continue straight on at the crossroads on the Oldtown Road for 2.4 km, Carricklittle car park is at the end of the Oldtown Road.
Translink – journeyplanner.translink.co.uk
Dogs must be kept on leads
Car park available at Carricklittle.
- 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.
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I did this walk just before the Lockdown on an unusually warm March day. I do the walk anti clockwise, somehow it seems more agreeable as you get to see what lies before you as you go up the river valley. I did the same walk last Friday, 22 May on a very windy day. I had lost my phone there and was trying to see if I could find it by retracing my steps. Some Chance. Great walk, enough isolation to loose yourself, enough of a challenge to reward yourself. It took me 4 hours 45. That was wind assisted could hardly stand up at the top of Slieve Lamagan Great views from Cove Mountain too. Didn’t meet a soul. Just as I Like it.
The walk description is pretty accurate. Routes are easy to find besides the rocky ascent to slievelamagan and the last section alongside the river. Bring a phone with GPS and mark the route ahead of your Trip to be safe. The river section offers multiple paths you need to choose from which are filled with water after a rainday before your hike and they will surely drain a lot of power out of your legs.
Views are fantastic but tracks are only for good footwear as loose and/or bigger rocks is what the path is made of. Make sure to bring good clothes as you will be exposed the entire walk. We did the tour in 6 hours with two five minute breaks – it was cold at the 02.01.2020 so sitting around in chilly winds was not an option for us.
Regards, Nina and Fabian
This is an excellent walk as you get to see all the peaks from inside the mournes, although its not for the inexperienced. I have done most of the walks in the mournes from WalkNI and we found this very trying, the trails are unclear with some very steep drops to the sides of narrow paths, some cross country with no clear paths at all. Dont attempt this if you are not confident as you are very isolated. It took us just under 7.5 hours to do 15km with a few stops for food. I was convinced Id taken a wrong path because it took so long, but our GPS later showed we followed the map almost perfectly. Be prepared