Loch na Caillí Loop
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Loch na Caillí Loop, Gweedore, Donegal,
A very pleasant walk looping around the village of Crolly on track and minor road and extending eastwards on bog road to little Loch na Cailligh in the hills, with a short but attractive optional spur westwards along the tree-lined banks of the Estuary. Spectacular river and coastal views and over the whole foreland as well as east to Dunlewy from the hill.
A-B. Exiting Ionaid Naoimh Padraic, turn right and follow the purple (and green) arrows along the road. The green arrows are for the shorter Lúb an Clochain Bhig. After 50m turn right and join a stoney road - this was the old railway line. This ends near a bridge where the loop turns right, travels another 150m to reach the N56. Cross with care and join a bog road by the side of houses. Continue to follow the green and purple arrows for 500m to a junction with another stony road where Lúb an Clochain Bhig continues straight ahead - but you turn left.
B-C. Now follow the purple arrows as the loop takes you on a pleasant trip on bog roads across Cnoc Glas and by Loch na Caillí (The Hag’s Lake) - with fine views of the surrounding countryside. After 4km you rejoin Lúb an Clochain Bhig at a ‘crossroads’ of bog roads and turn left.
C-D. Continue to follow the green and purple arrows along the Old Bog Road for 1.5km to join the N56 once again. Cross with care and turn left. After 100m turn right onto a minor roadway and walk for 1km to a 3-way junction near a bridge on your left. Continue straight on here.
D-A. After 200m the loop leaves the surfaced roadway and turns right onto the bank of an estuary. Follow the arrows as the loop sweeps right and after 100m cross a small stream at An Clochain Bhig - an ancient crossing after which this loop is named. Immediately after the ‘clochain’ the loop joins a green laneway. [Note: There is a short spur to the left here called Lala Harden’s Walk. This out-and-back trek along the estuary is well worth the extra 20mins it takes.]. The laneway takes you uphill to reach the R257 - cross with care and turn right.It’s only 300m back to the trailhead.