17th Nov 2018
The day started overcast with loads of cloud, pretty high generally but with a mist covering most of the summits in view and somewhat limiting the visibility. It was like this for the duration of the walk and then, would you believe it, the sun came out when we were going home after the soup! At least it didn’t rain!
The starting point of the walk was outside the front gate of St Kevin’s Church in Laragh. 24 of us (from all around the World!) gathered here and set off to join the Wicklow Way to follow a clockwise direction of the planned route – a circuit of Laragh. Even though the day was cloudy, the beautiful autumn colours were still very striking.
The path wound through the woods towards the Glenmacnass river
which we crossed via a footbridge
On the other side, we continued on a delightful woodland path which brought to the Laragh – Glenmacnass Waterfall road. We crossed this onto another forest track which led us through more delightful woodland to the base of Paddock Hill.
We now emerged from the woods and faced a good aerobic ascent to the summit of the hill (!), a distance of c. 550m and a height gain of c. 80m. Not very steep but enough to lift the heart rate, which some found very tough!
It gets easier the more one does it!!!!
When all had reached the top (we always wait for the last person!) and regained their composure, we turned SE, crossing a style, to leave the Wicklow Way and headed downhill (‘Hurray!’ some were heard to exclaim!) towards Trooperstown.
We were on a narrow path through more woods at first and then a wider forest track until, after about 1 km, we reached the Laragh – Lough Dan road. We crossed this, onto another forest track, and continued downhill for about another 600m to the main Laragh-to-Roundwood road,
which we also crossed into Trooperstown Wood.
After another c. 600m we came to the car park by the Avonmore river where we stopped for a ‘breather’ and some refreshment.
When all were refreshed, we set off again, over the river (by bridge!)
and followed a more substantial forest road towards Trooperstown Hill. We passed this on our left today rather than climb over it (due to the mist on top), much to the delight of some (no more panting!) and headed for Laragh, still with beautiful views of the surrounding scenery, even though they were shrouded in the light mist.
We reached the finish after 10.6 kms in 3 hrs 38 mins.
We then adjourned to The Wicklow Heather for their excellent soup! The end of another healthy day in the fresh air!
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