This walk of varied terrain takes you from the village of Ashford, rising quickly and steeply up the Cobs Road (an old Mass path when horses/cobs and carts were the preferred mode of transport).
This takes you into a forest area and you rise quickly until you reach the highest point of the walk. In the distance you have views of the distant Paps Mountains in Co. Cork. As you walk along between the rows of sitka spruce listen in summertime for the songs of the cuckoo and skylark. Watch out too for the hen harrier which is a protected species in this area.
Visit Lough Ghé, (Lake of the Geese) a deep oligotrophic lake which is fringed with Bottle Sedge where you may be lucky enough to see some of the resident wild duck and other visiting species. Lough Ghé is situated in a National Heritage Area containing upland blanket bog which is a globally scarce resource. The lake has been designated a Wildfowl Sanctuary.
Return by the same route to the trailhead in the village of Ashford.
Lough Ghé Way (Return)
A – B
From the trailhead in Ashford (outside the Church) with back to the Church turn right walk east for 100m. At the grotto turn right, following the orange arrows. Walk along this passageway until you come to the Y junction. Follow the trail to the right climbing steeply up the ‘Cobs Road’. Continue for 1km ( leaving the private dwelling on your right) and climb the last section until you reach the main road. Take a rest on the seat and enjoy the view before you turn left and resume your walk.
B – C
Following the orange arrows walk along the roadway for 180m. Go left at the entrance to a farm passageway. Walk along this laneway passing the old farm buildings on the right. Cross the stile and continue between the rows of sitka spruce. Cross a second stile and following the orange arrows walk for 800m until you meet a T junction, then turn right and walk between the rows of sitka spruce for 2 km. On reaching the main road walk to the left for 650m where you will find the entrance to Lough Ghé (a wildfowl sanctuary within a National Heritage Area of blanket bog) on your left.
C – A
Having visited Lough Ghé return to the roadway, walk right for 650m. Enter the forest roadway again and return to the trailhead in Ashford via the outward route following the orange arrows.