Back again, this time to tackle the Glenregan Loop. Having visited the previous week and done the Glinsk Castle Loop I now had the knowledge of which direction to head from the trail head. Once you enter the forest area, look for the display board to the right, which shows a map of the Glenreagan loop in red dots. To the right of this a trail descends past a small picnic area. It is up this trail one must ascend towards the ruins of Glinsk Castle, and along this path you will eventually find the red circular way-markers that will lead you around the loop.
If there were a way-marker at the trail head, it would be most helpful, but alas I couldn’t find one.
The trail is well kept and for the most part well marked, though there were a few occasions where the red marker would have helped, but seemed to have gone missing, so take the downloadable map with you. Also, take snacks as it will take a full 3 hours to complete without breaks. There are several picnic spots along the route for refreshments and enjoying the views, so bring something to snack on and keep your energy up. Parts of the trail follow relatively steep climbs that will definitely stretch your muscles and get your heart rate going, so take your time and enjoy the views.
Firstly, many thanks to my beautiful wife for the birthday gift of a new pair of hiking boots. The old pair of Meindls had served their time, and I’d walked the soles off them. The upgrade to a pair of Bhutans was most welcome.
Time to take them to the hills, so I set off intending to walk the Glenregan Loop, but I found that it was not well marked from the trail-head, so I set off on one of the way-marked loops, hoping I would find my way eventually.
Unfortunately I had set off in the opposite direction and only met the Glenregan loop after already completing 6 km. As it was getting late in the day I decided not to follow it, but I’ll definitely return to do it, now that I know the lie of the land.
Having done the Glinsk Castle Loop, I can say it’s a definite muscle stretcher. There are long periods of gentle climbs as you follow forest tracks and trails up the side of the Slieve Blooms, that will stretch your legs and get your heart rate up. Unfortunately the view from the top were somewhat spoiled by the mist that was falling, but the trail itself was well kept and way-marked and offer good opportunities to to spot squirrels and martins along the way.
Time to head for the hills again and this time tackle the Cahermurphy Loop Walk. This takes you from the sandy shores of Lough Graney via the river banks of the Bleach River through East Clare forest and farmland via forest tracks and minor roads.
Distance is 10 km and will take you 2 – 3 hours to complete. The highest point on the loop is near Corlea Beg and has some steep inclines and declines before and after, as you come through the village of Flagmount and back to the trail head.
Parking is available at the trail head as well as a small picnic area, though as the weather on our visit was drizzling, we didn’t hang around.
Having lived the good life for the Holidays it seemed only necessary to take a walk, if nothing else to assuage my guilt for my recent overindulgence. Ted (my trusty Labrador) and I headed for the Clare hills, and to the Carran Loop Walk.
Parking is available at Cassidy’s Pub in Carran village, and this is where the trail starts and finishes. There are two loops available, a short 4k and a longer 9k loop, each taking you though the Burren’s somewhat lunar landscape of exposed limestone slab, and past historic churches and holy wells. The terrain is undulating, but well way marked.
Though both links below estimate walking time at 3-4 hours, I found it easy to cover the ground in 2.