The Walkers on Black Mountain

The Walkers on Black Mountain

 

As Peter, our leader for the day emphasised, it’s all about the view and indeed our fourteen strong group enjoyed a beautiful April day on Black Mountain with, despite a thin haze over the city, spectacular views from the Ridge Trail, 1000 feet above sea level on the mountain.

We’re lucky to have such good walking within a 40–minute drive from Bangor and to have all the car drivers National Trust members, so we could avail of the NT parking at the Long Barn, about a half mile from the gate. Indeed there were many walkers and runners, and families with young children out for the day as well.

The area is a mixture of grassland, heath and bog, which from 1953 till 2005 was under the control of the Ministry of Defence and used also as a training area for the British Army. It might have been released earlier, but due to the Troubles, the British Government and the Military viewed the area as a useful vantage point overlooking Belfast.

There are four trails on Black Mountain and Divis, and the Ridge Trail at just over four miles takes you on a road and a gravel and stone pitched trail towards the edge of the mountain overlooking Belfast and on over a stile to the Trig point, all the while, getting different views of the city and identifying buildings, roads, sports grounds etc. The stone is from County Clare. On the return we stopped close to the Transmitters (actually on Divis) where Maurice Mehaffey, an expert vision engineer with the BBC, gave us an interesting talk on the history of the structures.

From there it was back to the Barn for lunch followed by another mile long walk on the Lough Trail where we passed a Bronze Age homestead and the area once used as a rifle range during WW11.

For some on the way home there was a foray into Lakeland and the Coffee shop in Harvey Normans on Boucher Road – another venue to be added to our long list of refreshment stops!

The next walk on May 4th is a 6–mile trail around St Patrick’s country, on paths and minor roads, starting and finishing at Raholp near Downpatrick.

Betty

Added by: RobbieJackson
Added on: Monday 8th April 2019

Category: Walkers

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