Walking in Leitrim
Sliabh an Iarann
The mountain which overlooks the town at a height of 585 metres provides an
extensive view of the whole area. It is a mountain rich in legend its name
meaning Iron Mountain. Iron was mined here over 200 years ago. Hill walking and
scenic walks can be enjoyed on the mountain.
Trail No. 1
From town to Laragan and back by Derrintuber, Corlough, to town.
The trail commences at the car park, site of the old Market yard. There was
a blacksmiths forge here up until the sixties. In earlier days there was a
boys club and billiard room here as well as film shows. In the 1920's and
1930's this was a place of great activity on Market days as it had a large
weighing platform suspended from a tubular tripod, which was used for
weighing goods. On leaving the Car Park on your left is the Visitor center
where can be seen an Audio Visual display which highlights the history of the
area. In the same building you will find Drumshanbo Branch Library which
houses a fine selection of reference books on the area.
Opening hours are displayed outside.
Proceed to the "Late Stop" center of town, turn right past National Irish
Bank. Note the plaque on the wall of the next house which commemerates
Jerome O'Duigenan Harpist and Classic Scholar born in 1710. Continue along
Convent Avenue, passing on your right Franciscan Convent of St. Clare and
St. Patrick's Church. Then onto the Tram Bridge where the Narrow Gauge
Railway passed until its closure in 1959. From there turn left past the
Famine Graveyard which will be on your left. Turn left until you meet the
main Dowra/Drumshanbo road.
Turn left for town passing entrance to the Quaile family home. As you
continue on this road you have a very good view of Lough Allen, a very famous
fishing lake which is seven miles long and three miles broad. Round every
turn of this walk there are breath taking views of the lake and surrounding
mountains, Slieve-an-Iarann 1922ft is the highest peak, Bencroy is 1707ft
and Slieve-na-killa 1793ft.
Nearer the town you pass an Advance Factory on your right and Moorlands
Equestrian center and a short distance on the Cattle Mart opened in 1977
replacing the Fair Day. You are now back in the town on the next turn right.
Trail No. 2
If you continue along Trail No. 1 where you get to the first point of turning,
don't, but continue on along the Old Coach road through the townlands of
Shasnacurry, Lavour and Cornashamsogue where you cross the Glen Bridge.
Continue on through Barnameenagh and Greaghnagullion. Along this walk you
have a clear view of Lough Allen and the Arigna mountains on your left, so
make sure you take your camera along. You now cross the Stoney River (if not
in flood) on to Cornmacukla south, and Cleighranmore where you come across a
Megalithic Tomb to your right known locally as the Giant's Grave. Continue
along to the Picnic Park area where you will see St. Hugh's Well or known
locally as Tubbervoey, also a sweat house in good repair.
You can take a left turn here along to the main Dowra-Drumshanbo road and
left again back to town if you wish return by the Coach Road back to town.
The view from this road is so beautiful it is worth a second look. A variety
of Birds and wildlife can be seen all along this route.
Trail No. 3
Hill Road, Corryard, Aguhriman and back to Town.
From corner of Carrick Road at Keane's Tile shop turn right and straight up
the hill. Half way up the hill you pass a large building known locally as
the Courthouse, and also used by the North-Western Health Board, next to this
building is the Fire Station and the roadway left above this building is the
entrance to the O.P. Dwellings. Continue a short distance and take a right
turn for Corryard. Here again you pass another estate of O.P. Dwellings and
their Community center. Next building on your right now owned by the Flood
Family was once a Schoolhouse. Continue on through the townland of Corryard
where next you pass on your right the Laird residence, where the Laird family
lived, whose name was synonymous with Jam making in the town for over a
century. This house was built in 1912.
After Lairds you pass through the townlands of Acres, Drumduff and finish off
downhill to Aughriman. Here you turn right and the road leads to the main
Drumshanbo/Carrick-on-Shannon road. Here you turn right and you will see
Derrynahoo or Prices Lake, well known to anglers. Further on you pass a
group of Holiday Cottages and Restaurant owned by the McGuire Family. Next
you see Acres Amenity area at Acres Lake. A number of trees have been
planted here to commemerate different events and visitors to the town, see
plaques for details.
The Cruiser Jetty is here as well and Cruiser traffic using Acres lake will
soon be able to make the short trip by canal into Lough Allen, the first
major lake on the Shannon. You are now 1KM from the town and as you proceed
along you will pass the site where Drumshanbo creamery which was built in
1908 stood, between Dr. Loftus's house and the front entrance to Lairds.
On your left on Moneynure hill, behind Senator Mooney's house the French
camped after crossing the Shannon at Ballintra in1798. Ballintra was then
quite an important village. As you pass the petrol station on your left the
group of houses adjoining it is known as Congress Terrace as they were built
in 1932 the year of the Eucharistic Congress. A short distance further on
there is a knitting factory on your right where top quality knitwear is
turned out. Previous to being used as a factory this building was known as
the Roxy Cinema. It opened on Easter Sunday 1953 with "Where the River
Bends" and closed in 1967 when T.V. became popular.
The Mill race runs along here. The water from the Bog of Mash was diverted
here to turn the turbines at Lairds Mill to generate power to run the mill
and supply electricity to the town. Bridges over the mill race are still
visible at the bottom of Hill Road and beside McCormack's garage.
In 1899 Caleb Shrea Laird drove Leitrim's first motor car IT 4. In the
1900's we find him overhauling and equipping the mills to grind Indian Corn.
He supplied electircity to the town when much bigger towns didn't have this
Trail No. 4
From the center of town go down Main St. through Carrick-na-Brack, where you
will see a plaque on the wall of Foley's pub, commemerating Fr. Canice Mooney,
a native of the town, which was unveiled by President Cearbhail O'Dalaigh
when he visited the town in 1976. The Church of Ireland is next on your
right here. This is a gothic structure which dates back to 1829. The
priests house is on your left and as you continue on out towards the Furnace
Hill housing estate, you pass the once popular Mayflower Ballroom, built in
1960, now a Community center and the Vocational School which caters for
Secondary/Technical education for a wide area.
At this Junction you may take either roads to Wynne's house on your right
beside the lake. Opposite on your left go down steps to pass along Canal.
This is a very pleasant quiet short walk also known as "lovers lane".
Continue to end of walk, on your right you pass the canal, once used to
bring flour and foodstuff to Drumshanbo. It was closed around 1930.
On the opposite bank of the canal there is a pleasant walk developed by the
office of Public Works. This area is known locally as the "Cinders" as the
boats using the original canal were steam driven and the coal cinders were
strewn on this canal bank. On the right hand side Blackrock House owned by
the Earley family is visible. There is a large variety of mature trees to
be seen here.
Looking out at Lough Allen from the Bridge, you can see O'Reilly's Island.
Trail No. 5
At Carrick road corner near Keane's Tile Shop turn right up the hill past the
Health center and Fire Brigade Station on your left to top of road. Go
straight through the crossroads past the Dristernan Housing Estate on your
left and McGowan's Garage on your right. Follow along this road through
townlands of Dristernan, Drumcoura and Aughnagallop, a ring fort may be seen
hear at the rear of Thomas Hyland's house. Leaving Aughnagallop continue
until you come to the fishing sign on your right showing Lustia Lake. Go
in along this road passing the lake in the fields on your left. Continue
straight along this road passing a road to your left, until you come to
Ballinaboy T Junction where you come out on the main Drumshanbo/Carrick-on
-Shannon road. Turn right here and back to town along the main road.
Visitors walking this route can see the Drumlin landscape of "little hills"
or baskets of eggs all around. In the distance Sheemore with it's cross
can be clearly seen. According to legend Fionn Mac Cumhail is buried here.
Trail No. 6
Leaving from Market Yard in Drumshanbo, heading downtown, passing Community
center and over Furnace Hill where iron mined in Sliabh an Iarann was smelted.
Lough Allen and the new Blackrock Lock are on the right. At the crossroads
which is signposted, take the road to the right which skirts around Lough
Allen, leading to Ballintra Bridge and Sluices. These sluices were erected
in 1937 to control the level of Lough Allen and retain it as a reservoir for
the electrical Power Station at Ardnacrusha. The view upstream at this
bridge must be an inspiration for artists and painters. In 1798 the French
camped near Ballintra. Go on along the road with Connor's Island on the
right. You will link up with the main Drumshanbo/Manorhamilton road. In the
distance the now closed Lough Allen Power Station can be seen. Turn left to
return to Drumshanbo. When you cross the Galley Bridge you will see a Stone
House on your right which was the Gate House for the Narrow Guage Railway.