Day 5 Ballyhooly to Killavullen
Time: 4 hours, 58 minutes including lunch break and coffee stop
This section of the Blackwater Way doesn’t actually pass through Killavullen, so we tried to find the closest point to Killavullen along the route where we could park a car. Using the Sport Ireland maps, I gauged the nearest point to be at Glenagear Woods (Coordinates: 52.1186275,-8.5273093) where there’s a fairly decent spot for several cars to pull in.
We parked our car there and then drove back to Ballyhooly where we parked the second car. Then we walked over the bridge spanning the Blackwater river and picked up the trail from where we’d left off the last day.
We walked along the road for a short while before turning right into Castleblagh Woods. How interesting to note that this wood has been in existence for hundreds of years and was noted on old ordnance survey maps as Johnson’s Wood or Priest’s Wood. It’s a bit disappointing that the Blackwater Way doesn’t pass by the mass rock that’s shown on the Coillte map of the wood. It would have been nice to see it.
I really loved this forest trail. The ground was soft underfoot and the weather was behaving itself.
We weren’t long in the forest before we descended a small track towards a gate that led out onto the road where we turned left and passed through a working farm.
Then there was a bit more road walking. The ditches were full of wild garlic and the scent in the air was heavenly.
Garlic – wild garlic everywhere!
I don’t ever remember seeing as much wild garlic as I’ve seen while walking the Blackwater Way. It’s along every ditch and in every woodland area. We passed this forest clearing where it grew in abundance.
We came to our first stile of the day. Up and over, onto a short laneway and then onto another road.
Ah sure, you couldn’t but stop to take a photo of this gorgeous baby. Isn’t it just adorable?
Another neglected little cottage, overgrown and falling apart.
And another stile which brought us to the nicest part of today’s walk.
I love following little gullies and paths like the one below. This was definitely the best and most scenic part of the Ballyhooly to Killavullen section of the Blackwater Way.
The path went up and up before eventually we were onto a forest trail. Once we reached the top, we decided it was time for lunch. Big logs like the one below have been laid across the trails, most likely to prevent scramblers from using the trails, as there were a few signs indicating that no scramblers were allowed.
This log was the perfect place for us to sit and admire the scenery for a while.
The Blackwater Way
I don’t know a whole lot about fungi, but, from my Google research *cough*, I think this is a bracket or shelf fungi. It was the only one I saw on the tree and was about the size of my hand.
We found ourselves at this sign for the Killavullen Loop Trail and knew we weren’t far from the end of today’s section.
This pathway back towards Glenagear Woods was another beautiful part of the day’s walk. It reminded me of a tropical rain forest.
22km later (a little over the initial 16/17km I thought the route would take), we arrived back at the car. Our next section is from Killavullen to Ballynamona which is 12km. The stage after that from Ballynamona to Bween is just over 10km. So we are going to take the two sections together and walk 22km. God save us, but we are gluttons for punishment! I hope the feet will last!