18 August 2018: Lough Ouler
Start point grid reference: SG 086 618
On our way north on the R115 (known as the Military Road) today we passed the beauty spot at the Glencornass Waterfall and the car park beyond it to a lay-by on the left immediately before a wood. We were three humans and two dogs. All three humans were wearing waterproof boots with good ankle supports, which are essential for this walk.
We knew we were in the right place because the path to Lough Ouler was clearly marked on our maps and there was a small sign proclaiming that we were entering the Wicklow Mountains National Park. Those boots were soon needed because we had to ford the Glencornass River. We had to hunt around for a suitable spot.
Once past the river the walk is quite gentle, leading along a clearly visible path running parallel to the Lough Brook. We did have to step across small streams once or twice.
Unlike some of the areas we have been walking through during the past few days, this part of the country had not been damaged by fires. The vegetation was gorse and heather. The only downside was that we could not always keep the dogs in sight when they wandered off to explore. By the time we reached the lough we had lost both of them.
Lough Ouler is spectacular, lying above the area we had been walking up and below further hills the other side. A walking party we met told us they were walking to the top but we only ever intended to get as far as the lough. We sat there for a while admiring the scenery.
One of the dogs found us there just as we were preparing to walk back down. We saw the other one coming up the path when we were about a third of the way back. The owner thought that, judging by its wet state, it must have gone back to the car and decided to look for us when it could not find us there.
We found a much easier spot to cross the river on our way back, so it pays not to strike across too soon.