Off the Beaten Track – Carntogher Mountain
Thousands of you pass this landmark mountain every day as you traverse the Glenshane Pass, busy on your journey to or from North Derry or Belfast. Perhaps some day when you have time to spare you could take a short diversion and enjoy the history and heritage of the Carntogher Mountain near Maghera.
The mountain is recognisable because of its distinctive ‘snout’ and is one of the many peaks and summits of the Sperrin Mountain range. Neither the mountain, or indeed its way-marked trails, are signposted from any nearby roads, so you’ll need these directions to access it. From the Main Street in Maghera, go straight ahead through the traffic lights at the staggered junction, then up past the chapel and the GAA club onto the Tirkane Road.
The road climbs steadily over the next few miles where you will pass An Carn the cultural centre dedicated to the revival of the Irish language in the area. You can stop here for refreshments, or browse in the gift shop before making your way to the mountain. Avoid the signpost for Swatragh and go straight ahead – the road gets narrower from here – until you reach a carkpark on your right with a quite substantial interpretative panel. You can stop here and park, or you can bravely plough on using an unpaved road where you will eventually reach a gate and a stile on your left. If you have the place to yourself, you can park a car here; if not you will have to go straight on until you find a place to turn.
Either way, you have a choice of walks on the Carntogher Way which you can find HERE. If you’re not in the mood for walking, you can take the road straight ahead which is a bit of an adventure, given that it is not paved for several miles. Along this road you will find the hollow shells of once prosperous homes alongside stunning vistas of the surrounding Sperrins, Lough Neagh, the Divis Mountain in Belfast and the far off Mournes and Cooley Mountains (on a clear day).
When you reach the safety of tarmac again, a right turn at the first junction will take you back out to the Tirkane Road and down into Maghera.
Book a Tour
InSite Tours Ireland can arrange a driving/walking tour of Carntogher Mountain. Use our Contact page to get in touch, or call Fergal on 02879 111386. Or use the form below.