Urris Lakes Loop
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Inishowen Tourism, Railway Road, Buncrana, Donegal, Republic of Ireland
Urris Lakes Loop. An easily accessible walk which, whilst relatively short, very quickly takes the walker into a remote and rugged landscape. The views are superb and the two small lakes provide a worthwhile reason to make the climb from the beach.
A-B. Leaving the trailhead at the beach at Lenankeel follow the purple (and green) arrows as the loop turns right crosses a concrete bridge and follows a surfaced roadway for 150m. The green arrows are for a shorter Lenan Loop. After 150m the road turns sharp left at a farmhouse – the loops turn right here and join a stony bog roadway. Pass through a gate and continue to follow this bog road as it starts to ascend. After only 300m you reach a Y-junction. You will return to this point later – for now veer left and uphill. Continue to follow the purple and green arrows as both loops ascend for nearly 1km to reach some old sheds. Here both loops turn right onto a bog road which takes you downhill to reach (after 500m) a junction near a stream crossing. The shorter Lenan Loop turns right here – but you turn left.
B-C. Cross a stream and watch for a waymarker which turns you left and onto a bog road which starts to ascend. After approximately 800m you reach a Y-junction where you turn left onto a hillside track which ascends to take you onto a plateau where the two Urris Lakes (Crunlough and Lough Fad) can be viewed in all their glory on your left. After passing Lough Fad the loop descends into a valley which is a site of an aircraft crash in World War 2.
C-B. The loop swings right again and after making a short ascent joins an old bog roadway which starts your return journey. After more than 1km you regain the Y-junction mentioned earlier in this section – this time continue straight and downhill. The loop descends for approx 800m to reach the junction mentioned in Section B-C. Turn right, cross the stream, and veer left. You have now rejoined the Lenan Loop.
B-A. Now follow this bog road which runs parallel to the coastline with fine views over Lenan Bay. After nearly 1km you regain the junction where you first turned uphill – but this time continue straight. Descend to reach the surfaced road at the farmhouse again – turn left and enjoy the 150m back to the trailhead!