Keash Hill Trail

  • Length: 3.4km Return
  • Ascent: 88m
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Longitude: 54.050685
  • Latitude: -8.445581
  • Trailhead: Keash Church Car-park
  • Waymarking: Red Arrows
  • OSI Map Series: Series 25
  • Suggested Gear: Sturdy walking shoes, trekking boots, waterproofs, fluids and snacks

Directions - How to get to the Trailhead.

Head east from Ballymote on the R295 Keash Road. Continue for 6.6km, turn left up past the school. The trail head car-park is on the right beside the church.
UPDATE: Dogs are not permitted on the off road sections of the trail as it crosses open farmland.
Keshcorran Mountain is capped by a large un-opened cairn, known as the pinnacle, which can be seen from many parts of Co. Sligo. Seventeen caves are located on the western side of the mountain. The hill and it’s surroundings feature in a number of legendary tales including a story that tells of the birth of Cormac Mac Art. Cormac Mac Art was the most famous of the legendary kings of Ireland and was born at a well beneath the caves. His mother had given birth to him while trying to escape from Lughaidh Mac Conn who had killed her husband. While they lay sleeping baby Cormac was carried off by a wolf whose den was in a cave now known as Cormac’s cave. Cormac was discovered years later playing on all fours outside the caves with wolf cubs. Cormac went on to become a famous High King of Ireland.

The Route

The route begins from the car-park beside the RC Church in the village of Keash (just off the R295). Follow the way-marked route from the Church car-park along the narrow road beneath Keshcorran. After passng a left turn, continue a further 250 metres up the road to a stile on the right side of the road. Follow the way-marked route to the right along the field boundary. Cross a stone stile and continue along the route to the left up the hillside. Turn right and make your way carefully up the hill following the waymarkers along the sheep path to a viewing point just before the caves. Return along the same route back down to the car-park.

*We recommed that you excerise care when walking along the brow of the hill as this is a steep incline and the grass can sometimes be slippery underfoot, particularly after rainfall. Walking boots are recomended.

Did you know?

Keshcorran is the highest hill in the Bricklieve/Curlew area and the 894th highest in Ireland. Keshcorran is the most northerly summit in the Bricklieve/Curlew area and also the most westerly.

3 thoughts on “Keash Hill Trail

  1. Up and down in 30 mins, fantastic views

    I’ve done this walk a few times in the last 12 months on my way back to my home in Naas from my original home town of Ballymote. Having been reared only a few miles away, it’s amazing it’s taken me so long to just go and do it. Breathtaking views and really interesting to get into the caves too. Up and down in 30 minutes with the family and then on to Foxes for lunch, great combination.
    Well done to the local Keash community for getting the work done on the path.

  2. Thanks

    Lovely walk up to see the Caves of Keash with rewarding views. The best views are actually from the first two caves . Bring a torch if you want to see into the caverns, some are interconnecting.
    The path is steep with loose gravel in parts so if you have walking poles they are useful . In dry weather it’s a bit skiddy on the loose grit and in wet I would imagine it’s slippery. Sturdy footwear therefore very advisable. (In hindsight perhaps some sections would be safer as actual steps!? )
    The ‘car park ‘ is actually the wide area of road just before St Kevin’s Church opposite The White Hall. There are no facilities there.
    Thanks very much to the landowners for allowing access up to the Caves . Much appreciated. Lovely afternoon walk.

  3. colinjquinn@gmail.com

    I have climbed this many times and one section of this is much more difficult to ascend/ descend than it was prior to the second lot of ‘upgrade’ works. The incline is very sharp and it is far too easy to slip on descent. It is a steep section on the path before arriving at the caves. Steps (as previously) would’ve been a better option. Any argument that it makes it more accessible wouldn’t wash as the the slope is far too severe to consider any sort of wheeled access. This really needs to be revisited before an accident happens. Apart from this the walk is excellent, the caves are well worth a visit, and the views are great.

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