The two day Camino is organised by the Rural Health Partnership, Peak Health and Mind and St Patrick’s GFC, Cullyhanna.
*DAY 1* *Section 1* and 2* Newry to Flagstaff (6km)The route begins at Sacred Heart Chapel Cloghogue Chapel, Newry. We traverse the slopes of Fathom Mountain, the first hill encountered on the ring dyke.
We walk parallel with the Newry – Dublin rail line & after 2.5km the route switches to the eastern side of the mountain, allowing a different panorama to unfold. Beyond Carlingford Lough the clustered peaks of the Mourne Mountains decorate the skyline, with some of the highest summits in Northern Ireland on show.
We reach Flagstaff, which marks the end of the section & our first stop point.
*Section 2* Flagstaff to Marble Bridge (11km)We now climb the slopes of Black Mountain, the second highest peak of the ring dyke.
We walk towards Clontygora Court Grave. This neolithic tomb is located close to the bottom of the lane. We continue uphill along the lane, climbing between high stone walls.
We then make our way towards Black Mountain, via the turf road. Although we won’t be going all the way to the top, you will be gaining over 200m in altitude over the next 3km. The climb is sustained at first then eases slightly, with the surrounding peat moorland becoming wilder as you progress.
You are now within the boundary of Ravensdale Forest. From here we make our way to a spectacular view point overlooking the Ring of Gullion. From here we descend down a delightful walk by the bank of the stream and towards Marble Bridge car park. *Day 2*
DAy 2 *Section 4*5*6*
Forest Road, Forkill to Slieve Gullion Courtyard Centre (7km)This route begins at the Forest road, Forkhill. A short walk & we arrive at the boundary of Slieve Gullion Forest Park. We begin to climb the forested hillside in a series of wide switchbacks until eventually we reach the tarmac of the forest drive. The official route we follow the driveway around the southern slopes of Slieve Gullion. The road descends steadily, with open terrain allowing expansive views of the Ring dyke. We continue down through pleasant deciduous woodland to reach the car park beside the Courtyard Centre. Here we have our first stop point.
*Section 5*Slieve Gullion Courtyard Centre to Camlough Forest (5km)
Country lanes carry you on towards Camlough Mountain. From the Courtyard Centre, we make our way towards Camlough Mountain. We pass Killevy Old Churches before we steadily climb towards Camlough Forest. At Camlough Forest, we follow the old forest drive into the trees and begin to zig-zag up the Forest drive. There are fine views over Newry and the ring dyke
*Section 6*Camlough Forest Drive to Derrymore House, Bessbrook (8km)
A descent from Camlough Mountain leads to a memorable final section finishing at Derrymore House. We descend the northern slopes of Camlough Mountain with great views over the numerous stone arches of the Craigmore Viaduct. Shortly we arrive at the grounds of Derrymore demesne & beautiful Derrymore House, an eighteenth century, cottage-style house now owned by the National Trust.
Craigmore Viaduct is a piece of Northern Irish engineering history. It was completed in 1852 to allow trains on the Dublin-Belfast line to span the Camlough River valley. It is around 400m long, and boasts 18 separate arches. The tallest arch is 38m high, making this the highest viaduct in Ireland.
The dates are Saturday 9th and 16th October. Cost: £30. For more information contact: 024 30861220.