The Coumshingaun Horseshoe is the finest high-level walk in the Comeragh Mountains in County Waterford. It provides great views of Coumshingaun – a magnificent example of a corrie lake – as well as the countryside to the north, east and south. On a clear day, for example, the new bridge in Waterford is clearly visible as is Hook Head in County Wexford.
The terrain itself is also very interesting from a walker’s perspective – the southern spur with its rocky outcrops requires some mild scrambling in places and is reminiscent of The Reeks while the boggy plateau provides an opportunity, if time and weather allows, to explore such points of interest as Crotty’s Lake and the Mahon Falls.
The walk itself can easily be done by any reasonably fit person and it will take between 3 and 4 hours including a meal stop. Be aware though that there are precipitous drops into the corrie so great care must be taken. It is best avoided in poor weather unless you have been there before. As ever when going into the mountains observe basic precautions: wear appropriate clothing and footwear, carry a map and compass and/or a GPS unit (and know how to use them) and if walking on your own let someone know where you are going and when to be expected back. Don’t assume your mobile phone will work as coverage may not be good.
Getting There: coming from the N25 take the Carrick On Suir road at Lemybrien and drive exactly 10.6 kms as far as Kilclooney Bridge. Look for the cul-de-sac sign on the right hand side of the road and park there. (If your SatNav is Loc8 code enabled the code is: YMS-20-XC9.)
Climb over gate across the road:
You will cross a stream and then head across a pleasant meadow:
Climbing over the wire fence you are now into the mountain terrain proper. You must decide whether to ascend via the north or south spur. The north spur is a much steeper ascent but the descent via the south is easier. Personally, I prefer to ascend via the south one and that is the route I have taken here:
Looking back as you make the initial ascent of the south spur there are some fine views of the countryside to the east and north:
There is a distinct path to follow:
As you ascend, Coumshingaun Lake comes into view:
The spine of the south ridge with its rocky outcrops:
At the latter end of the ridge you leave the rocks behind:
The final obstacle on the ridge is a steep section requiring a scramble onto the plateau:
Looking back at the southern spur on the right, the lake and the northern spur:
You are now on the plateau and you have left the strenuous ascent behind:
As you head towards the northern spur there are great views of the lake:
You now descend via the northern spur: