We’re going to start this walk at Trassey car park, which is incredibly easy to find (the sign post and “Trassey Road” are a huge give away). Make sure to get there really early at an agreed time that you and your friends are aware of, otherwise you could be sitting in your car waiting for an hour and 13 minutes (speaking from personal experience – sadly my lunch didn’t survive that!).
The car park does fill up very quickly and you could end up having to park on the side of the road which is a real nuisance for local farmers. My friend Peter assures me farmers work 29 hours a day, so you can imagine how a narrow road filled with cars wouldn’t help that.
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Upon leaving Trassey, head straight up the hill and you’ll come to a big wide metal gate with a rock stile. Climb over it and head straight up the lane way. Bear in mind that livestock’s moved on this lane quite frequently, so keeping your dog on a lead would be the best idea.
You follow the lane way straight uphill. At this point you’re beginning to think ‘maybe these trainers might not cut it’ and you’d be right, but we are all stubborn so naturally push on (disclaimer: please wear correct footwear, I’ve been there). Go straight through two metal gates, remembering to latch them correctly and you’ll now get your first proper sight of Hares Gap.
Head straight up to Hares Gap on a rutted path, proceeding to a small bit of technical climbing with a few breathing stops along the way until you reach the stile. Once here, you’ll be rewarded with some incredible views looking east towards Slieve Donard. This is a great spot for a cuppa and a snack before pushing on.
You want to go immediately left and follow the Mourne Wall up Slievenaglogh. There are steps visible the whole way up and it’s pretty hard underfoot right until you get near the top. Slievenaglogh peaks at 586 metres so it’s by no stretch a hard walk, and it’s often quieter than other areas in the Mournes.
The top features huge lumps of granite with deep lines cut into them from what I imagine has something to do with the ice age (and magic) – you may not see this pattern anywhere else in the Mournes!
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The great nature of this walk is that you can continue on following the wall to the top of Slieve Corragh and even push on to Slieve Commedagh if you’ve got time. A good rule of thumb is: for every peak completed, you can add another side to your Chinese order that night.
Simply retrace your steps back to the car park, and that completes a short introduction to a lesser-visited part of the Mourne Mountains.
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A day outside is seldom wasted.