For all the Instagram posts one see's of photos overlooking Coumshingaun Lough, one would be forgiven for thinking the jewel in the Comeragh Mountains crown is easy to find. This wasn't our experience however.
Depending on who you talk to or what you read, confusion seems to abound the hikes and trails surrounding the Comeragh Mountains, located in Co. Waterford. Initially we set out on what is known as the Coumshingaun Loop Walk- a moderate 4hr (7.5km) walking trail, thinking it would get us to where we wanted. Guided by our online directions, we parked on a minor road just off the R676 Dungarvan/Carrick-on-Suir road.
Crossing the road, we climbed over a gate and although with every step our scepticism grew, we walked along a wet patch until we came to a small stream. Two of us negotiated the stream rather well, one of us did not. With damp/wet feet we continued until we came to a wide open field. With no visible path in front of us, confusion reigned amongst us and patience wore thin. It was at this point we elected to turn around, return to the car and drive back towards the Kilclooney wood car park.
As soon as we stepped foot in the forest we immediately felt that we were on a more structured path than the previous field. After five minutes of brisk walking through the forest, we turned left up a small hill followed then by a right turn towards a phone mast nestled in a corner to the left.
With no trail left in front of us, we stepped over a small set of steps and continued straight along a narrow gravel trail. We sought reassurance that we were in fact on the correct trail to eventually look over Coumshingaun Lough from a passerby who was on their descent. Unfortunately, he could not confidently say we were and this led to us veering left across whins, bushes and hardship.
We should have known we were going the wrong way when the wily veterans of the mountains (the sheep) were all on the grassland to the extreme right whilst we travelled up alongside a fence on the extreme left, making our own trail as we went along.
The views along the way did make the steep climb worthwhile however, as can be seen below.