Video by Robin Wallace. Not walk taken during Wild Atlantic Way Walking Week
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Monday 8th June 2015
Meet 10:00am The Abbey Hotel Reception
Moderate 3-4 Hours 10KM mostly track and bogland
The Bluestack Mountains are part of the last wilderness of Europe. They are known as the “Jewel in the Crown” of the Donegal Mountains. It is a rugged mountain range in excess of 600m and in parts quite remote. These mountains offer a rare glimpse of an unspoiled landscape. The oldest rocks in the south Donegal region are said to be 600 million years old and form many of the hills in the Bluestack Mountains. The walks cross a dramatic landscape of mountain, lake and bog land. The nature lover has great scope to enjoy the flora, fauna and the impressive geology of this special part of Donegal. Curiously, although this is a most remote area, the mountains are easy to access, being just 5klm from Donegal Town. Donegal is an excellent area for hill-walking with its challenging peaks, wild and remote uplands, rocky mountain terrain.
Disert means place of solitude. It is believed that monks came to study and pray here. The megalith, said to be the burial site of a druid chieftain, evidences the long history of the site. The site is said to date back to pre Christian times and is also associated with one of Ireland’s patron saints. Colmcille, who is believed to have blessed the Holy Well in the 6th century. The graveyard was used for Mass through the penal years. Numerous local traditions have built up surrounding the site ranging from ways to improve virility to methods of curing eye disorders and backache. The clay from the site was used to put in the foundations of houses to banish rats. The flora in this area is very interesting probably due to the non – application of artificial fertilizers. In spring bluebells primroses, wood anemone, lesser celandine and dog violets thrive here. In summer foxgloves, thistles, bracken, wild strawberries and various fern and mosses. Birds associated with this area are cuckoo, raven, merlin and kestrel.