- Start: IH 83150 85850 Carndaisy Glen
- Finish: IH 83150 85850 Carndaisy Glen
- Distance: 10.5km ( 6.5 miles) , including Trig point extension 12.3km ( 7.5 miles )
- OS Sheet: 12 (1:50)
- Ascent: 458 m
- Grade: Moderate
- Walking Time: 3.0 – 3.5 hours
Approximately a mile north of Moneymore on the A29 travelling towards Tobermore, take a signposted road to the left towards Carndaisy Glen.Drive about two miles along a gradually narrowing road leading into a secluded tree-lined glen . At the top of the glen park adjacent to a small, recently renovated Baptist Church.
The walk begins from the Car Park. Take a stony lane opposite the church. Immediately cross a small stream and follow the rough lane gently upwards through a wooded glen alongside the river to the left. The river gradually into a narrow tree lined rocky ravine.
Cairndaisy Glen is at its best in May with woods carpeted in bluebells, wood anemones, ferns and woodrush. Towards the top of the glen the lane continues through farmland and between old walled hedges. Pass a couple of bungalows on the left (the second of which is abandoned) to reach the road.
Turn right and a few hundred metres further on, take a lane to the left. The lane becomes lined with gorse bushes (a sea of yellow in spring) follow the lane through two gates and across a small stream, continue upwards on a track over well grazed upland meadow, the track will disappear but continue to follow a narrow picturesque glen on the right. The glen gradually peters out and the slope becomes easier. Going up, you will pass an extensive basalt quarry to the right. Cross a stretch of wet ground with thigh deep rushes and head for a rocky knoll ahead. From the top of the knoll, to the north and higher, you will see the telecommunications mast on Slieve Gallion top .Continue through swampy upland meadow for another 400yds to reach a mountain road which winds up and around to the western shoulder of Slieve Gallion .
Follow this road upwards a short distance, and join a rough track to the right hand side with grassy hummocks on its upper side. The hummocks and limestone and flint fragments on the track are evidence for the narrow outcrop of cretaceous limestone on the eastern side of Slieve Gallion ( geologically the same limestone as North Antrim). Follow this track and the summit mast of Slieve Gallion is soon seen half a mile ahead. Follow the well tarred road leading to the telecommunications mast and continue northwards beyond the mast over flat ground to find an impressive summit cairn (946m) perhaps bronze age, although there is uncertainty about this.
Enjoy the panoramic view. Looking west, Sawel and Dart are unmistakable in the main Sperrin Range . To the north much further away, the basalt cliffs of Benbraddagh and Binevenagh stand out clearly. Look east, Lough Neagh, a white ribbon of light and the bowl shaped volcanic plug of Slemish are unmistakable. A little further south the distant outline of the Belfast Hills can be made out.
Slieve Gallion has twin peaks, both should be visited. Leave the summit cairn and continue back along the mountain road to the southwest and through a gate. A little further,where the road bends left, a rough, rutted and often flooded track to the right takes you towards the other top. Follow the track until it disappears, then struggle briefly southwards over decomposing peat hags until you reach the second and slightly higher Slieve Gallion top marked by a Triangulation Point (528m). Close by is a small Memorial plaque, recently erected in memory of a popular local walker and cyclist , Ronnie Magwood , by a group of his walking friends.
From this top, on a day with clear air, the unmistakable outlines of Muckish and Errigal in Donegal are visible to the northwest and to the south, the familiar undulating outlines of the Mournes ,all of 60 miles away, are seen. The most obvious local landmark to the south is the tall steam ejecting chimney at Lafarge Cement Works a few miles from Cookstown. With binoculars you can look down the long broad street of Cookstown (around ten miles away) and clearly see the Church spires.
Below the top you will find a rudimentary shack (erected by some local walkers) – a good place for a sheltered lunch on a windy day.
Find the track again, follow it back to the road and reverse your route back to Carndaisy Glen.
Alternatively you could have left the cairn on Slieve Gallion and retraced your steps to Carndaisy Glen.
|1.Carndaisy Glen car park||103m||H 83162 85850||0||0|
|2.Leave lane , join road||165m||H 82673 86448||1.0km||1.0km|
|3.Leave road , join track||186m||H 82906 86562||0.3km||1.3km|
|4.Last Gate||210m||H 82619 87030||1.0km||2.3km|
|5.Leave track||233m||H 82429 87184||0.5km||2.8km|
|6.Rocky knoll||421m||H81671 88103||1.0km||3.8km|
|7.Lime chip track||437m||H 81423 88400||.4km||4.2km|
|8.Cairn on north east summit||496m||H 81300 89600||1.2km||5.4km|
|9.Start of track to southwest top||451m||H 81167 88610||0.6km||6.0km|
|10.Trig Point on southwest top||528m||H 79850 87800||1.0km||7.0km|
|11.Road||440m||H 81400 88300||1.0km||8.0km|
|6.Rocky knoll||410m||H 81700 88050||0.5km||8.5km|
|1.Carndaisy Glen car park||103m||H 83162 85850||3.8km||12.3km|