Mountain climbing/hill walking have become very popular pastimes in Ireland in recent years. With 14 peaks in excess of 3000ft and a large number more over 2500ft Ireland has a wealth of moderate to challenging climbs to offer with magnificent views
The Derryclare Horseshoe walk in the Lough Inagh Valley in Connemara, county Galway

Derryclare Horseshoe (March 2010)

This magnificent and challenging walk in the Twelve Bens mountain range in The Lough Inagh Valley reveals the rugged beauty of Connemara in all is splendor. The 6-7 hour horseshoe climb encompasses a number of peaks including Ben Lettery (516m), Glengower (664m), Benbreen (691m), Bencorr (711m) and Derryclare (650m).
Last Sunday (21 March, 2010) I completed this highly enjoyable climb with the Clare Outdoor Club. The initial part of the climb is along a gravel road through forested land for about 20 minutes after which the rocky steep ascent towards Ben Lettery commences. This part of the walk involves some scrambling which adds to the sense of achievement upon reaching the summit.  As this point the landscape opens up on all sides with wonderful views of lakes, valleys, coastline and other mountain peaks on all sides. Mweelrea (Connaught’s highest mountain) is clearly visible. The Lough Inagh Valley needs to be viewed from here to appreciate its true beauty.
The beautiful rocky terrain continues for the remainder of the climb towards Derryclare. The peaks of Glengower, Benbreen and Bencorr and the scenic valleys between them all offer great opportunities for photos and breathtaking views.
The descent from Derryclare is quite slippery and boggy in places and walking poles come in very useful. We stopped in The Forge restaurant in Moycullen on route back to Ennis for a tasty and well earned dinner. In all a highly enjoyable day

The Derryclare Horseshoe walk in the Lough Inagh Valley in Connemara, county Galway

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