Mahon Falls - Comeragh Drive - Kilrossanty - Kilbrien - Ballymacarbry - Nire Valley - Dungarvan
Dungarvan To Comeragh Heights
The Comeragh trail takes you out on the N25 from Dungarvan towards Lemybrien, turn left at the sign for the Comeragh Drive and Mahon Falls. This brings you into Kilrossanty. On the right-hand side you will pass St Bridget's Well. Follow the sign for Mahon Falls. This rugged terrain can present a challenge to even the most experienced mountain hiker; but for the one who ventures into the hills there are splendid sights. This drive offers some sensational views of the mountains, and the many high viewing points on the way provide excellent panoramas over the green countryside below. Turn right at the sign for Mahon Falls.
One km further on you will cross a cattle grid and you are entering the Mahon Valley. About 150 metres from the grid you will go down a small slope. This part is known as the Magic Road. Stop at the fairy tree situated a few yards from the road to your left and turn off the engine. You will find to your amazement that the car will travel backwards up the hill with no power! A few hundred metres further on you will come to a car park. From there it is a pleasant and easy 15 minutes walk to the waterfall. Here you will see the water cascading with immense force down the steep rock face to the pools several hundred feet below. Back in the car continue the journey up the steep hill. Park your car at the top and enjoy the splendid views from the Comeragh Heights overlooking the Mahon River Valley to the east and the Tay Valley to the west. From here the road winds down the hill, through the forest and meets up again with the Comeragh Drive.
Kilbrien To Dungarvan
Continue on to Kilbrien, go past the thatched house and Kilbrien church, over the bridge turn right. This brings you in to Ballymacarbry. There is a plaque engraved on the roadside stating Nire Valley. If you turn left you will come to Melody's Nire Valley Pub and Riding Stables established in 1964. The stables offer a variety of riding options.Turn right at the roadside engraved with Nire Valley and you will pass by the Nire Valley Pottery. Follow the drive and just before the metal bridge over the River Nire, turn right at a thatched cottage where a detour (about an 8 km round trip) is signposted Nire Valley Lakes, it is well worth taking this route on a fine day. Go past the church to find the car park. This is a good base for a cross-country walk to the Nire Valley lakes and to see some spectacular mountain scenery. To return to the trail go back past the church, turn right and then immediately left over the bridge past Hanoras Cottage. The road climbs through woodland beyond which the road divides, follow the Comeragh Drive to Rathgormack. Drive slowly as you will see sheep on the roadside. There is a profound sense of peace in this remote and mountainous area. Continue on the Comeragh Drive follow the road, right, for Dungarvan. The Comeragh Drive is a delight for the motorist or walker.
Photo: Sean Byrne