Lough Shannagh walk leads up hill on the 'Banns Road', an off road farm track. The route circles Lough Shannagh (in an anti-clockwise direction) with a high point of 587m at Carn Mountain. It also follows and crosses the Mourne Wall on places.
Point of interest:The Ben Crom Reservoir & Lough Shannagh
OS map:Sheet 29 + Mourne Outdoor Pursuits Map (1:25,000)
Terrain:Unsurfaced, uneven, hilly track
Route:This walk starts at the Banns Road car park.
The track from the car park (known as Banns Road) is in constant use by farmers husbanding their sheep. Please take care not to obstruct the track at any time.
Bann's Road winds uphill to Lough Shannagh crossing the Mourne Wall and the Miner's Hole River; the name recalling unsuccessful excavations for metal ores by Cornish miners.
The track proper ends amidst a flat expanse of white granite gravel and eroded peat hags. From here pick your way towards the northern edge of Lough Shannagh, (the lake of the fox), in an anti clockwise direction.
At its north-east corner the lough's outflow is dammed by a low stone embankment. Cross the river below the dam. Follow the shoreline to the north end of the lough and then ascend (over a boggy, pathless terrain) to a height of 50m to find a path. From here contour left (west) for approx. 600m to reach an obvious grassy gully which ascends directly to the Mourne Wall. Continue left (900m) to the summit of Carn Mountain.
The rocky mountain, which overlooks the Lough, is Doan (594m), which if climbed by the left flank (northwest) provides a rewarding view (this excursion adds an hour to the time taken to complete the walk).
To complete the walk, follow a wall leading left down the south face of Carn Mountain (this is not the Mourne Wall; the latter turns right from the summit to continue over Slieve Muck).
At the base of the hill the wall breaks at its junction with the Miners Hole River. Turn left at the break and follow the left back of the river (no path) back to the stone bridge on the Banns Road Track. (1km)
Return to the start via the same route.
Please be aware - Although, there are numerous walking routes in the Mournes, the majority of these popular walks are not formally designated public rights of way. Most routes have developed over time due to traditional use. Below 600feet (180m) most land is privately owned and is farmed or grazed. Many of the traditional access routes cross this land or pass along farm lanes and quarry tracks. Walkers are advised to respect that they may be walking on private land and are encouraged to make themselves aware of and adhere to the principles of 'Leave No Trace' - www.leavenotraceireland.org"
Please remember that much of the land you will cross is private property and access is only available through the goodwill of the landowners. Although some areas of the countryside have been traditionally used for recreation, the public have no general rights to access such land and are only walking with the tolerance of the landowner.
Facilities:Refreshments and toilets at Kilkeel or Silent Valley Visitors Centre.
Publication:Route 5 in a pack of walks titled - 'Mourne Mountain Walks' produced by Mourne Heritage Trust.
Also in Newry & Mourne Walking Guide
Publication availability:This pack of route cards costs £5.95 and is available from - Mourne Heritage Trust - 028 4372 4059
and various Tourist Information Centres:
Newcastle - 028 4372 2222
Newry - 028 3031 3170
Getting to the start by public transport:The approach to Lough Shannagh is from a discreet car park on the B27, 7 km north of Kilkeel on the East Side of the road. A track locally known as the Banns Road leads to the hills.