Climbing The Devil's Chimney, Sruth ín Aghaidh an Aird

Since Mark talked to me about this project two years ago I have been looking forward to this day.

Mark and Fiona have lovingly created a path through the native woods to loop into some beautiful viewpoints and close access to the Devil's Chimney waterfall. There has been help from Leader and other sponsors and now this path is available to us public :-)

A motivation for this is that some scholars believe this is the waterfall Yeats was refering to in his Stolen Child poem, as when the waterfall arrives, it does gush with gusto!

Mark keep newly assembled a poster announcing we were coming along ...

There's good information here to set us in the picture of what we are walking into ..

This is just a little west of the popular visitor's Glencar Waterfall and is on the Leitrim-Sligo border

There is also a request here to not dump our poultry here.

Four of us in the car arrived a little early, but we did not expect many more to attend with us as I had received messages though the morning of reasons most folks could not join us.

The afternoon was great though, dry, some sun came out, quite warm without being too hot and midges stayed away long enough.

Sile arrived a few minutes later then Laura and Mike greeted us in the car park.

We just got our cars into the car park as this is a very popular walking and picnic spot for local people wanting somewhere quieter and more adventurous than the very popular Glencar waterfall.

If this car park is full during future meet ups we can shuttle people to and from a couple of small car parks towards the Glencar Falls.

After a short walk beside a field we rose up into the near native woodland ...

The quality of path is like this throughout.

Oh look, Giraffe Birch Trees :-) ...

There are several steps along the path too and the path does become narrow at the highest levels. Meanwhile, there are plenty of benches to rest on as we stroll up the path ///

Also, it is not essential to wear hiking boots. Nowhere is muddy. Some people walking there were wearing shoes they would wear to church or job interviews :-)

First view is over Fiona and Mark's home ...

From here there is a fairly long flight of steps to climb, with seating rest on the way. After a bit more path we rested a bit more.

Take your time here, just breath it in. No rush, this is all worth it.

Some people passed us, also going to the top for a picnic, but we never saw them after this ...

At this point I also put my Canon camera into full zoom, and look, there are people above the Devil's Chimney!

We keep trucking, and it's easier walking now and lots to see ...

Times to stop and rest, and maybe do a bit of tree hugging ...

From here we reached the first major viewpoint. Spectacular it is,

Glencar Lake view is a bit limited here ...

but the Devil's Chimney does look impressive ...

We stopped awhile here and enjoyed a cup of tea.

A nice shot of Fiona and Mark on tea break :-)

and this one of Dana and Sile ...

Meanwhile, Coleston had gone ahead of us and was carrying much of the picnic supplies, to a higher level. He was not aware we would stop here for a tea break. Eventually he smelled the tea, but alas also returned with picnic supplies that needed to go back up to the top ... 

He was not happy on hearing the news it was all going back up again ..

Accompanying our tea was our Bardic Session of the afternoon. Mark read a lovely poem here ...

I asked the leaf whether it was frightened
because it was autumn
and the other leaves were falling.
The leaf told me, “No.  
During the whole spring and summer
I was completely alive.
I worked hard to help nourish the tree,
and now much of me is in the tree.  
I am not limited by this form.
I am also the whole tree,
and when I go back to the soil,
I will continue to nourish the tree.  
So I don’t worry at all. As I leave this branch
and float to the ground,
I will wave to the tree and tell her,
‘I will see you again very soon.’” 
That day there was a wind blowing
and, after a while, I saw the leaf leave the branch
and float down to the soil, dancing joyfully,
Because as it floated It saw itself already there in the tree.  
It was so happy.
I bowed my head,
knowing that I have a lot to learn from the leaf
because it is not afraid. 
It knew nothing can be born and nothing can die. 
- Thich Nhat Hanh

After about 15 to 20 mins we were back on the trail, but a zoomed close up of the Devil's Chimney first. Hopefully, this shows off the beauty of the green growth here that is exposed without the waterfall running. 

Now we were onto another step climb and this time the steps are a bit narrower, but accompanied with interesting tree scenes, including the fallen ones.

At the top, with spectacular views, there is a double bench, perfect for hosting our picnic ...

Yes, look at the views from here ...

Here is one of the open views ... 

This is what the Devil's Chimney area looks like from here ...


No waterfall today, but the very green mosses where the water flows are quite beautiful too. This is definitely worth visiting with or without the waterfall running.

After a good rest and picnic feast, some of us walked along a pretty extra spur ..

that Fiona and Mark called their "quiet place" ...

A lovely notice board of the birds that can be seen here ...

Another view of the Devil's Chimney from here too ...

From here it was back down to our cars, hugs and away. Thank you for this wonderful afternoon on this beautiful wooded path towards Devil's Chimney ...

More News!

I returned here the following Saturday, 12th September, after a night of heavy rainfall. Indeed the Devil's Chimney waterfall was in full flow.

I was with Claire Roche, and Mark and Fiona met us near the start of the path route. Claire and Fiona talked quite a bit about donkeys for awhile. Mark walked with us to the top as he was clipping overgrowth on the pathways.

The afternoon was glorious, quite warm with quite a bit of sun shining through the clouds.

I will be adding more photos here of this return visit within a day or two ...


  1. A Missed day , to be with Bards at this spectacular wonderful space. The Leaf Poem poignantly warming the heart. great pics of you all hearty friends.


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