Claragh Loop, Millstreet

Cork RTAI are blessed in that our county is rich in outdoor venues for hillwalks, ambles, picnics etc. Our beaches, lakes and mountains are the raw material that those leading enhance for us by their local knowledge and preparation.

All praise then to Máiréad Twomey and Ann Buckley for leading us on the Claragh Loop, Millstreet. Three cheers for that town, that makes walkers so welcome and provides excellent facilities. May it enjoy the boom it is so well prepared for.

The car park by the church provided our meeting place, the toilets on the site appreciated by all. When Seán Radley, with camera, greeted us we knew we had arrived!

Soon we were off the road and on to the well sign-posted loop path. The height of Claragh Mountain might intimidate the faint-hearted but the climb is gradual and the 360 degree views were a worthy reward for the effort.

Our leaders chose a well sheltered spot for our “sos mór” about 20 minutes beyond the summit. We enjoyed the sight of sheep with their lambs along our path. The glory of a loop walk is that every vista is new and one is motivated to tramp on to the grub ahead.

The Wallis Arms Hotel deserves great praise in how they responded to our needs. Tasty food and helpful staff sealed the deal.

Claragh Loop is a winner and our gratitude to Máiréad, Ann and the RTAI was well deserved. That night there was little need to count lambs or sheep to bring on restful sleep!

                                Seán Ó Callanáin