River Shannon / Lough Derg
Clare Walking Tours........About the East Clare Way

The East Clare Way -- National Waymarked Way Walk -- is a circular, long distance walking route starting and finishing in Killaloe and is rated easy to moderate, even though it includes several hill walking sections. It is 172 Kilometres (108 Miles) in length and ascends almost 3,000 Metres (10,000 Feet).

It is made up of  8 Sectional walks ; it is possible to walk it comfortably in 8 days and it can be accessed at any one of 9 Trailheads -

  • Killaloe
  • Broadford
  • O'Callaghan's Mills
  • Tulla
  • Feakle
  • Flagmount
  • Whitegate
  • Mountshannon
  • Scariff
 
  Hiking Man  
  To download full mapping details of the East Clare Way, East Clare Way downloadable Map  

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It can also be divided into 16 stage lengths (as you will see ) - each one representing a half day’s walking and these shorter walks can be useful should you wish to combine them with other activities to further enhance your stay with us.

This is where flexibility and mix and match comes into play-

You can start anywhere on the Way (we will deliver you !) You finish anywhere else ( we will collect you !! )

You have total control over your daily walking.  

It is a walking trail which comprises tremendous variety – you will wander along country roads, lanes and boreens; climb along bog roads; travel through dense forests and traverse lowland bogs. It avoids main roads and traffic wherever possible and  is never too far away from the water.   

As you travel along the Way Walk, you will experience Irish rural life at its very best and the many archaeological and historic sites on the trail are centuries old and well worth investigating.

It winds its way through some of the region’s most spectacular and varied scenery. Starting in the heritage town of Killaloe on Lough Derg, the Way crosses the Slieve Bearnagh mountains before descending to the Clare Lakeland areas around Tulla and Feakle – home of traditional Irish music. It circles the inspiring Lough Graney and then climbs again over the rugged boglands of the Slieve Aughtys  back towards Lough Derg.With wonderful views over the lake and its islands and with the mountains in the background, the Way meanders via Whitegate and Mountshannon before returning through the hills towards Scariff and on through Tuamgraney to complete its circuit back to Killaloe.

The East Clare Way is waymarked using the familiar Yellow arrows and walking man signs, metal finger posts and “wooden” marker posts and if you are following the Way ,you should ignore all other coloured arrows/signs , as these are used to indicate local loop walks.
 Stiles and bridges have also been erected along the way where necessary.

  Yellow Walking Man & Local Loop Walk Signs   East Clare Way Yellow Walking Man Sign

 

 

The East Clare Way Walkers Map Guide and Illustrated Information Guide gives you all the details you need to know and we include both as standard parts of your package.Several minor changes have been made to the Way and  these are very clearly marked on the ground.

 

  Map and Illustrated Guide Book

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  Stages of the East Clare Way  
 

Stage 1A            Killaloe – Kilbane - Details
Stage 1B            Kilbane – Broadford - Details

 

Stage 2A            Broadford – Ballykelly - Details
Stage 2B            Ballykelly – O’Callaghan’s Mills - Details

 

Stage 3A            O’Callaghan’s Mills – Cullaun - Details
Stage 3B            Cullaun – Tulla - Details

 

Stage 4A            Tulla – Tulla / Gort Road Intersection - Details
Stage 4B            Tulla / Gort Road Intersection – Feakle - Details

 

Stage 5A            Feakle – Scariff / Gort Road Intersection - Details
Stage 5B            Scariff / Gort Road Intersection – Flagmount - Details

 

Stage 6A            Flagmount – Bohatch - Details
Stage 6B            Bohatch – Whitegate - Details

 

Stage 7A            Whitegate – Mountshannon - Details
Stage 7B            Mountshannon – Scariff - Details

 

Stage 8A            Scariff– Annacarriga - Details
Stage 8B            Annacarriga – Killaloe - Details

 
 

East Clare Way.    16 Stage Walk Details

 

Stage 1A     Killaloe – Kilbane

10 Km 
Ascent 270M
Duration  4 Hours

Graded Easy / Good Marking
Although all on a minor road,  traffic can be busy with traffic
Steep descent approaching Kilbane

In the Slieve Bearnagh and Lough Derg region and views of the Shannon river and counties Kerry& Limerick are available

Heritage….St. Lua’s Monastery, Megalithic Remains, Sarsfield’s Ride, Birthplace of Brian Boru and St. Flannan’s Cathedral

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Stage 1B   Kilbane – Broadford

9 Km
Ascent 220 M
Duration 3.5 Hours

Graded Easy / Good Marking / Hill Walking
6 Km road—remainder track / broken tarred road
Road from Kilbane to turn off can be busy at times, as can the last 1Km into Broadford
Steep climb to highest point of stage

The surrounding landscape includes steep hills, heather, gorse, farmland and forestry.

Heritage….Fermoyle Hill Fort, Megalithic Remains and Killokennedy Church

Additional information

Route change onto different road to right further along road out of Kilbane (now 2.5km)

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Stage 2A   Broadford – Ballykelly

12 Km
Ascent 210M
Duration  4.5 Hours

Graded Easy / Good Marking
3.25km road; 7.75km forest road/track/lane boreen; rest firebreak/path through trees; Firebreak can be wet and steep descent towards Ballykelly

You will find Doon Lake on this stage with steep valleys from the Slieve Bearnagh mountains and forestry

Heritage….Farbreag Standing Stone; Hurdlestown House; Megalithic Remains and a Dolmen

Additional Information

Wet weather alternative now obsolete as Way removed from bog onto track

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Stage 2B   Ballykelly – O’Callaghan’s Mills

6 Km
Ascent  40M
Duration  2 Hours

Graded Easy / Good marking
All road; mostly quiet though take care on first section and at cross-roads at Crossloum, about 0.5km very minor

You are surrounded by the Slieve Bernagh mountains, Oak woodlands and Farmlands

Heritage….Standing Stones; Old Mill and Forge; Teerovannan Castle and Woodfield Bridge

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Stage 3A   O’Callaghan’s Mills – Cullaun

11 Km
Ascent minimal
Duration  3.5 Hours

Graded Easy / Good marking
Mostly on a minor road except for just over 2km on bog road and just under 1km forest road; Roads all very minor but caution required when crossing the Tulla to Ennis road

Mainly Bogland and Turf

Heritage….Cullane House and Corn Mill

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Stage 3B   Cullaun – Tulla

9.5 Km
Ascent Minimal
Duration  3 Hours

Graded Easy / Good Marking
All road except for first almost 1km on driveway out of Cullaun Castle; roads are minor but traffic can be busy at times; last section in Tulla on footpath

Surrounded by Woodlands and Cullaun Lake

Heritage….The King crowning place Magh Adair; Holy Well and a Wedge Tomb

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Stage 4A   Tulla – Tulla/Gort Road Intersection

9.75 Km
Ascent 220 M
Duration  3.5 Hours

Graded Easy / Good marking
1.5km bog road (can be wet in places after rain); 1.5km forest road; remainder quiet minor road except 2.5km on busy road; fairly steep climb to end of road at Derryulk

Landscape includes Bogland, Farmland, Rock Outcrops and Forestry
Heritage….Monastic Church; Megalithic Remains; Kiltannon Caves; Tyreded Castle and Bullaun (used for holy water)

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Stage 4B    Tulla/Gort Road Intersection -  Feakle

14.25 Km
Ascent 200 M
Duration  5 Hours

Graded Moderate / Good marking
7.5km forest road/track; 3km path on bog; remainder fields with about 0.75km road; bog sections wet; road quiet enough but includes a sharp bend so care is needed; many stiles in fields

Great views of the Shannon Estuary and Slieve Bearnagh; surrounded by Moorland, Forestry and Scrubland; Lough Ea is situated below Maghera mountain

Heritage….Mass Rock; Holy Well and Ger’s Burrow

Additional Information

Spur to Feakle may be re-routed, if so follow markers

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Stage 5A   Feakle – Scariff/Gort Road Intersection

9 Km
Ascent 350 M
Duration  4 Hours

Graded Easy / Good marking
2km fields; 1km road; 0.5km path on bog; rest track/boreen; 2 short steep climbs; retrace route back from Feakle; Way crosses fields and bridge at Cloonagro

The landscape includes Farmland and a Quarry

Heritage….Homes of Biddy Early (“The Magical Lady of Clare”) and Brian Merriman poet/hedgemaster); Mass Rock

Additional Information

Spur to Feakle may be re-routed, if so follow markers. Change in route over Knockena, follow markers Way marked through fields at Cloonagro

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Stage 5B   Scariff/Gort Road Intersection – Flagmount

15 Km
Ascent 150 M
Duration  4.5 Hours

Graded Easy / Good marking
8.5km road; 2.25km forest road/track/boreen; rest on bog road/path through trees (wet in places at times)
About 4 km of road very quiet, rest of road can be busy enough.
Path through trees along lake shore.

On this section you will find Lough Graney; White Sands beach; Forestry and Valleys

Heritage…Old famine relief road and Cahermurphy Nature Reserve

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Stage 6A   Flagmount – Bohatch

15 Km
Ascent 350 M
Duration  6 Hours

Graded Easy / Good Marking
4.5km road; 0.5km Mass path; 1.5km forest road/bog road/path (can be wet); rest unsealed road; mass path is steep climb out of Flagmount ; latter part of this stage is remote.

Great views of Lough Graney from Knockbeha mountain; Views of Slieve Aughty mountains; High Boglands and a view of Lough Derg

Heritage…Village of Flagmount translates as the “Hill of Flags” and refers to “Laeaca an Eadain”, the abundance of local flagstones that once paved the main street; Cahermurphy House was once the stately home of Arthur Knox, famed traveller/writer; Stone Caher or stone fort can still be seen from the road. Ruins of Turkenagh Hunting Lodge

Additional Information

Way leaves unsealed road in Bohatch about 0.5km further on than indicated on map

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Stage 6B    Bohatch – Whitegate

16 Km
Ascent 70 M
Duration  5.5 Hours

Graded Easy / Good Marking
4km road; 0.5km bogroad; 3km path in trees/openground/unpathed bog; remainder forest road/track.

Parts of path and bog can be wet; roads are very minor except for about 300 m on main Mountshannon / Portumna road, where caution is advised as there is no verge for walkers.

Village of Whitegate; Williamstown Harbour on Lough Derg; Forestry and Open Moorland

Heritage…5000 year old Dolmen on Lough Hill;  Many emigrants left Ireland from Williamstown Harbour in famine times; Old Poteen Still and a Lime Kiln

Additional Information

Re-route off unsealed road in Bohatch, also on bog road to Bohatch and new descent through trees at Bohatch. Route on wrong road into Whiteagte on OSI Sheet 59

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Stage 7A   Whitegate – Mountshannon

12 Km
Ascent 100 M
Duration  4 Hours

Graded Easy / Good Marking
1km path through trees; 2km forest road; rest road

Landscape here is mainly forestry

Heritage….Monastic Site of Dereney; Holy Island

Additional Information
Roughly 300 m on Mountshannon / Portumna road is busy with no verge for walkers; path between forest road and track leaving forest road for road can be ploughed up by horses; rest of road is very quiet.

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Stage 7B    Mountshannon – Scariff

17 Km
Ascent 160 M
Duration 6 Hours

Graded Easy / Good Marking
6km unsealed road/forest road; 0.5km path and the rest is road. Path can be ploughed up by cattle; road quiet except for last 4km of road  into Scariff which can be busy.

The landscape here is again dominated by Forestry with some intermittent views of Lough Derg

Heritage…Mass Rock and Lough O’Grady

Additional Information   Way not marked on OSI Sheet 52

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Stage 8A   Scariff – Annacarriga

14 Km
Ascent 300 M
Duration  5 Hours

Graded Easy / Good Marking
4km unsealed road/bog road/boreen; remainder road;2km main road with footpath/wide verge; rest minor roads; over Croaghnagower unsealed roads to bogs.

Landscape here is dominated by Slieve Bearnagh mountains.

Heritage…Creamery which was once a Workhouse in 1840; Heritage Centre and a Ring Fort

Additional Information   Steep descent on rough water damaged boreen about 1km; other climbs reasonable

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Stage 8B   Annacarriga – Killaloe

16 Km
Ascent 420 M
Duration  6 Hours

Graded Easy / Good marking / Hill Walking
8km road; 4.5km forest road/unsealed road;   1.5km path through trees; 2km old road.

Steep ascent after bridge in Annacarriga and also in lower part of forest; on old road short detour through fields past gate.

This is an extremely picturesque section of the Way and includes Crag Wood, Feenlea Glen and a Picnic Site.

 

Heritage… Folklore tells us that an early War Goddess called Aibhinn once lived on the side of  Craglea Hill and a Holy Well is named after her.

Additional Information   Old road can be wet and rough underfoot in places

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Contact Derek at

Tel: +353 (0) 87 2686708

info@clarewalkingtours.ie

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