Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland
# great outdoors
Ireland’s most underrated and undiscovered mountain is waiting to be explored
Coumshingaun in Waterford is something special.

THE COMERAGH MOUNTAIN range in Co. Waterford is an area of remarkable natural beauty, but is still a relatively undiscovered tract of remote land.

Surprising, given that it’s home to spectacular glacial lakes, picturesque waterfalls and umpteen hidden caverns — some of which have been created by falling boulders.

It’s here that one of the country’s most underrated mountains is situated, that being at Coumshingaun, said to be one of Europe’s finest examples of a corrie lake.

The hike itself isn’t overly demanding but will take between 3-4 hours (7.5 kilometres), depending on how fit you are and at the top (on a clear day) you can expect to see as far away as Hook Head in Wexford.

To reach the summit the safest and easiest way, it’s best tackled from the south side; that being from the trailhead on the Carrick-on-Suir to Dungarvan road.

The starting point is at Kilclooney Wood car park beside the R676, close to the midpoint between Carrick-on-Suir and Dungarvan.

Take the Carrick On Suir road at Lemybrien and drive exactly 10.6 kilometres as far as Kilclooney Bridge. Look for the cul-de-sac sign on the right-hand side of the road and park there.

The north side is much steeper but the descent via the south is easier as there’s a distinct path to follow.

Granted, the summit isn’t as high as Carrauntoohill (about 300 metres shorter), lacks the sheer walking distance of places like Sheeps Head in West Cork and Errigal in Donegal, but for a shorter, sharper, slightly more taxing hike, this is hard to beat.

It’s unbelievably remote, so you will need to be well-prepared. That’s not runners and tracksuit pants.

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There are other dangers too, aside from the conditions, and be aware there are serious sheer drops of up to 400 metres into the corrie below so great care must be taken. This considerable height also requires you have a bit of a head for altitude.

As well as this, when the weather is bad here, it’s really bad, so unless you’re tough as nails or are very experienced, it’s best avoided in poor weather.

We also suggest bringing: more layers than you think you’ll need, waterproofs — even in June — a map, a compass and/or a GPS unit… and plenty of food!

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