The Trail Map:- OSI Map Series 16
The Gleniff horseshoe is a nice 10km loop along quiet roads with spectacular views and dramatic and wild Dartry Mountains. The walk also provides dramatic views of the Donegal Bay and the Ulster County beyond.
Begin at the Benwiskin Centre, turn left and continue for about 1.5km to junction. Veer left at yield sign southwards towards mountain for 1km to next junction. Continue straight following sign for Gleniff Horseshoe Valley.The 19th century Bartyes Mill Site is located on the left as you walk into the horse shoe. A lovely woodland walk has been developed at the Mill Site which takes you along under native Irish trees, babbling mountain streams and pretty waterfalls. It is a lovely spot to stop for a picnic.
The tall cliffs on the left after the road begins to turn back to the north are the Cliffs of Annacoona. As you emerge through the trees the legendary Diarmuid and Grainne’s cave becomes visible high up on the steep slopes, this is reputed to be the last hiding place of the ill fated lovers.
Please note that access to Diarmuid and Gráinne’s cave crosses private land and is dangerous even for experienced hikers. The climb is steep and the terrain can become slippery, and the descent is particularly challenging. We have received reports of people getting injured here or having to be helped by the Sligo-Leitrim Mountain Rescue Team. We do not recommend this climb.
Staying on the road, follow the loop around turning right at the T-junction after the descent to return to the Benwiskin Centre.
Did you know?
Truskmore Mountain on the east side of the road is Sligo’s tallest mountain at 647m (2113 ft).
If you look closely at the cliff face you will notice small mine entrances from where the mineral Bartyes was extracted. Bartyes is a heavy inert mineral which is used in a wide variety of industries including paints and plastics.