Over the summer I had a really pleasant evening’s dander in the Antrim Hills. With just a bit of a rough plan in mind I wanted to visit a couple of tops and then have a look around one of the rivers that looked interesting on the map. Having been in the area before I knew that Dungonnell Reservoir allowed for parking and a good place from which to start the walk. As it turned out I was able to progress a little further along the road past the dam before finding a suitable spot to park and begin my walk.
I started off passing the atmospheric Loughgarve before ascending Collin Top.
The view from Collin Top gives a glimpse down towards Glenariff and the drop off into the glen looks impressive from here. A little stone cairn at the summit gives this hill a distinct look in the area alongside the larger rolling tops of Mid Hill and Carncormick.
I headed to a secondary top to the NE of Collin Top before heading on a course towards Crockravar, making use of a fence to handrail my way along and thankfully avoiding the worst of any boggy ground.
There was a very distinctive boulder on the western flank of Crockravar that I made a beeline for. It was an interesting little feature that would offer a commanding view both into the glen and also across it towards the county high ground of Trostan. I say would because today there was fog rising out of the glen. This was fascinating to watch as it rose and crept along the land down below me in something that resembled John Carpenter’s horror The Fog. Before long it had completely enveloped me. In the period of 3 minutes it had gone from reasonable visibility to very poor. I was glad that I knew exactly where I was since navigational skills would now be required for the next part of the journey.
3 minutes later
After a 30m detour to visit the summit of Crockravar, the fog gave a real sense of disorientation requiring the use of a compass to find my way back to the boulder previously visited. I then made my way east to Loughnacarry before heading south towards an unnamed lough. At this point the fog lifted somewhat and retired back to the glen. This was a perfect to spot to stop for a cuppa and to watch the constantly unfolding picture in front of me as the fog caressed the top of Glenariff forest.
Next I headed to the Inver River which is one of the contributors to eventually form the Glenariff river. I was interested in checking out some of the waterfalls that are marked on the map. With modest expectations I was delighted and impressed by the number and appearance of these. These would be particularly impressive when the river was in spate.
I know it can be hard to appreciate the scale of these on a photograph, the last one in particular has quite a drop. It is easily reached along forest tracks through Glenariff Forest park. It is in a part of the forest park that I have never visited before despite being to the forest many times.
It was then back to the car to complete the walk. I really love walking in the Antrim Hills. The walking can be more difficult at times with deep heather and long grass to contend with but there are some real wee gems of places to be discovered. And when you do, you are likely to have it all to yourself.