Wicklow Mountains National Park
Lugnaquilla is located in the Wicklow Mountains, and is the highest mountain in Ireland outside of County Kerry. Standing 925 metres-high with a prominence of 849 metres, Lugnaquilla qualifies as a furth and is the 63rd highest mountain (with a prominence of at least 600m) in the islands of Ireland and Great Britain, sitting just one place ahead of Galtymore. Lugnaquilla is also known as the 'Lug', but despite the name being the same as one of the most prominent gods in Irish mythology, it just means "hollow of the wood" (Irish: Log na Coille).There are many trails that lead to the peak of Lugnaquilla (elevation : 925m) with all of them having a difficulty of moderate or less. This entry describes the one that begins at Glenmalure Lodge , skims Kelly's Lough, passes through Corrigasleggaun (elevation : 794m), and then descends via the zig-zags. Without navigational aid such as a GPS device, however, the walk on the summit plateau can be a little tricky in poor weather or in poor visibility, as the trail tapers off at places and can be quite indistinct. There are also steep glacial corries that drop from the summit plateau that you need to be aware of, as well as the chance of strong winds that quite often buffet the area.
We began the hike by walking south-west and crossing the Avonbeg river via the Drumgoff Bridge. The bridge connected to a military road, where we turned right approximately half a kilometre in, and followed a wide dirt track that was fringed by forested areas on both sides. There was a junction at the half-way point of the Wicklow Way, where the left branch continued along the Wicklow Way, heading west at first before zig-zagging multiple times first southward, and then westward. The dirt track gradually ascended from around 200 metres at the Wicklow Way half-way point to about 1400 metres just after the sixth bend (3.5km mark). We passed a left turning just before the fourth bend which, had we taken it, would have looped us around the Carrawaystick summit (elevation : 728m) and to the junction just after the climb up from Kelly's Lough. This point could also have been accessed had we followed the military road at the beginning instead of starting from the Wicklow Way half-way point.