Slieve Foye - way to go
MAP: OS of Ireland 1:50,000 Discovery 36; downloadable map of Slieve Foye Loop at discoverireland.ie/walking.
TRAVEL: Bus: 161 Dundalk-Newry (buseireann.ie), 502, 701 (louthlinx.com). Road: M1 to Dundalk, R173 to Carlingford. Main car park by Tourist Information Centre.
WALK DIRECTIONS: NB: Several waymarked Looped Walks are based on Carlingford including the Slieve Foye Loop (blue arrows/BA), which forms part of this walk but doesn't actually ascend Slieve Foye. The walk from Golyin Pass to Slieve Foye summit is marked (patchily) with purple 'Looped Walk' arrows.
From car park, pass Taafe's Castle; left at T-junction; right through Carlingford village square; climb steep road to right of Savage Victuallers ('Táin Way'/TW) until tarmac bends left. To follow Slieve Foye Looped Walk (BA), turn right here. To ascend Slieve Foye, keep ahead (green arrow/TW 'walking man' symbol) up grassy, then stony, laneway. Follow green and red arrows and 'Commons Loop' uphill. Where Commons Loop turns left, bear right (yellow and red arrows/TW); follow TW up to Golyin Pass.
At red arrow, bear right on clear grass path up Slieve Foye. There are some marker posts and purple waymark arrows; near the summit these disappear, but you'll find several obvious paths to the summit.
Descending from summit pillar either: retrace steps to Golyin Pass and to Carlingford; or, for fit and confident walkers who can use map/ compass/GPS, continue towards Eagle's Rock with Carlingford Lough on your right. Ideally, descend when above car park at north end of forestry; otherwise, descend towards lough and forestry where you can (very steep, no defined path) and be aware of crags! At forestry fence, right on Slieve Foye Loop (BA) to rejoin Táin Way below Golyin Pass; retrace steps to Carlingford.
LENGTH: Circa six miles; allow four to five hours.
CONDITIONS: Many steep bits, up and down; bog, rock, slippery grass, heather; 589 m/1,932 ft of ascent and descent. Hill-walking gear, boots, water, picnic essential. Stick advisable. Slieve Foye summit is only for fit, experienced hill walkers. Avoid in mist or heavy rain!
Don't Miss: Views over Carlingford Lough and Dundalk Bay from Golyin Gap; Mindblowing prospect from Slieve Foye summit.
GUIDED WALKS: Contact Aude Laffon on 0871 335159; setantatours.com.
INFORMATION: Carlingford Tourist Office: 042 937 3033; carlingford.ie.