I’ve always wanted to run around the Monavullagh Mountains in County Waterford. So when I woke up on Friday and saw blue skies and clear weather, I knew this would be the perfect time to do some exploration.
The Monavullagh Mountains lie south of the Comeragh Mountains, yet are joined to them by a seamless ridge.
My plan was to get a lift to the parking just west of Lemybrien town, to the col just north of Crohaun hill (S271 016). From there I’d run north towards Seefin Mountain, then north-east to Coumfea Lakes. My ultimate goal was to hit The Gap south east of Knockanafrin, passing by Sgilioge Loughs on the way. From The Gap, it is an easy descent north-east to the road and on home towards the village of Rathgormack.
There was not that much climb in the route, with only 2 ascents as far as Seefin. The main issue was however the rough and wet terrain. Weeks of torrential rain in Ireland had left the flat plateaus full of shoe-sucking bog and swampy marsh. However the rain was also responsible for the incredible lush green colours that only Ireland can provide.
Despite the beautiful weather, there was not another soul in sight. The residential sheep were given quite a shock seeing me running across the mountainside. A whole herd dove off the cliffs at Coumfea just to avoid me. However I wasn’t surprised that there was no one else up Monavullagh. Paths are few and far between, so you need to be pretty happy with a map and compass to dare to venture up there.
I got home with the sun still shining, my legs covered in mud, and my shoes drenched in river water. It was good to be home and back out again on Ireland’s mountainsides.