A-B. From the trailhead at John Long’s Pub follow the purple (and green) arrows along the surfaced road. The green arrows are for the shorter Molly Loop. After 500m you reach a crossroads at a place called The Acre - go straight across here and join a surfaced laneway. After 300m watch for a waymarker that directs you to your right and onto a farm laneway (Billy’s Lane). Follow the purple and green arrows as the surface changes to grass and, after 1km, join a surfaced road where you turn left. Almost immediately the loop turns left again and ascends to reach a 3-way junction where the Molly Loop (green arrow) turns right - but you turn left.
B-C. Note that you are now overlapping on the Barnavave Loop from Carlingford (red arrows) for a short distance - but going in the opposite direction. Follow the purple arrows uphill to join a forestry roadway which you follow for 400m to a left bend. Watch for a stile on your right here - cross it, climb the short ascent to reach stone walls of a deserted village and turn right (leaving the Barnavave Loop as you do). Follow the purple arrows downhill to reach a surfaced road at an old limekiln - and turn left. Note that you have rejoined the Molly Loop very briefly at this point – it turns right onto a downhill laneway – but you continue straight along the surfaced road. Follow this road for 150m before turning right onto a narrow downhill laneway located between two house entries. At the end of this 450m laneway (part grass and part surfaced) you meet the Rooskey road and turn left. Follow this road for 400m to Rooskey and then turn right onto a narrow laneway (Forty’s Lane). (At this point you are close to the site of the Rooskey Priory - after which this loop is named.) Follow the laneway for over 1km to a point where the shorter Molly Loop rejoins you from your right. Continue straight on here.
C-A. Now follow the green and purple arrows for 400m to a junction with the R173. Go straight across and join a surfaced laneway (Skeekan’s Lane) - enjoy the last 1km back to the trailhead.
Items of Interest:
St James church, Grange. Grinding stone at end of Billy’s lane was used to crush gorse plants for horse fodder.
‘Abandoned Village’ and Limekiln (disused). Ruins of Rooskey Priory.
This loop can be accessed from Carlingford by starting on Forty’s Lane at Rooskey.
Walkers on the Barnavave loop can use ‘The Molly’ laneway and ‘Forty’s Lane’ on the return to Carlingford as an alternative to the road route.