Moylussa had been on my radar for sometime as it is listed as the highest point of County Clare. I had also heard that it was very scenic with views up the length of Lough Derg. Well, that will always get me!When I woke up to a perfect blue skies day last October, I took my chance and hopped in the car to get this scenic walk ticked off my list! Both myself & my doggie have enjoyed it so much, we returned a few times over winter.

Just over 10km from the Birdhill junction (Burger King/Apple-green) on the N7, this county top has a lot going for it. It is by no means an easy walk, but it is a great fitness builder. While the thoughts of lots of scenery drew me in, I have also gone up it on misty, foggy days and except for the bare peak, the forestry shelters you from the worst of the elements overall.

Ballycuggaran Forest Entrance Killaloe Clare Ireland

Coming from Killaloe, you can park either on the left or right-hand side of the road.

Coming from Killaloe, follow directions to Ballycuggaran Forest on the Tuamgreaney/Scarriff road. Ideally, turn in to the left and drive up the steep roadway for about 500metres and park here. This is the where the walk continues on from. If it’s the weekend and this carpark is full, go back down and across the road to the lake side parking and walk back up.

Once you have yourself sorted, set off in the direction of the path that is going up hill. If in doubt, either follow the general direction or ask for clarification. Depending on the time of year, you may be walking under a canopy of beech leaves or among the bare branches of winter. You’re straight into it and walking a reasonably steep climb immediately.

Walking Ballycuggaran forest Clare Lough Derg Ireland

The direct steepness of these paths are broken up as you have brief respite when the trail crosses an access roadway for the timber lorries. In all, you have 4 of these paths to cover, one after the other. Take your time and sit down on the seats placed at viewing areas at the beginning/end of each of these paths. This and the final climb to the board walk are the toughest!

views of lough derg from Moylussa Clare Ireland

Soon, you join up the roadway and are walking on a fairly steady, easy path until the final push! At this section, your immediate surroundings are nothing much to talk about; it is an area of working forestry, so there are timber stacks and you’ll see the areas that are being cleared. Weekends are busy here and you will be meet joggers, walkers, children, dogs and the odd scrambler. To your right, will be the Clare countryside and the views over Lough Derg will be opening up.

As the road way bends around, the peak of Moylussa will be infront of you…

Soon you come to a fork in the road. When I have been here, there is a handwritten sign directing you up the hill to Moylussa, so keep to the left! Here you will be sheltered in under forestry and will have little streams and miniature waterfalls giving you a backing track to this section of the walk! There is also really cool moss growing here, deep enough to sink down into and snooze for a bit!!

walking trails ireland moylussa clare

Keep walking straight all the time. You will come to a clearing of sorts and there is a sign on the trees directing us visitors in the direction of the peak. hiking trails ireland moylussa county top clare

Again, keep going  straight. Shortly, there will be a turn up to the right at the section that looks like this ↓

walking Moylussa county top clare Ireland

As you get closer you will read “Mylussa”. You’re now leaving the East Clare Way and beginning to head for the peak. After about 300metres, turn to your right and there you will see….the hill you have to conquer!

Caitriona Bolger Moylussa Eat & Explore walks Ireland Clare

Don’t go jumping into someone’s arms like what Daisy did when she saw what lay ahead!

The gravelly path climbs reasonably steeply until the forestry finishes (see behind me on the right). The path has now been upgraded and instead of just going straight up on open ground, as what you can see in the photo, the new path now turns to the right and hugs the forestry.

This is the short but steep and tough bit! The path is now mostly scree and is not too unlike the final climb of Croagh Patrick. This would be good practise for Croagh Patrick; it is steep and at a sharp angle but not as severe. The good news is that the zig-zags help and I found it easier to get onto the grassy edges and scramble up that way. The other good news is that it really is not that long, probably 300-400 metres.

You’ll know you are near the top, as you’ll see the boardwalk appear. We hunkered down on the edge of the steps for sandwiches as its nice and sheltered. Once you get up on the board walk, although you are on solid, level ground, you’ve no cover from the elements. And besides, you’d need a few minutes to recover after the climb up!!

When you are revived, wrap up well and enjoy the last few flat steps towards the rock marking Moylussa at 1,748ft/531.6 metres.

Take in the views across towards Tipperary & Limerick and see if the MacGillicuddy Reeks are in view on the day you visit.

Take your time coming down and return to the car with a great sense of accomplishment after completing a challenging but rewarding walk for yourself. All in all, this walk usually takes me about 3 hours to complete.

Moylussa Boardwalk Clare IrelandI’m on the lookout for somewhere nice to go get food afterwards if you can recommend anywhere let me know!

Walking along the forestry track reminded me of walking in the Slieve Blooms, especially this walk at Glenafelly…

Slieve Bloom Mountains, Glenafelly Walk