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.
Point of interest:Hen Mountain, Cock Mountain, Pigeon Rock Mountain
Getting to the start by car: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.
Terrain:Loose surface tracks, open mount
Route: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.
Facilities:Car park and picnic facilities available at Sandbank Road Car Park