The 25th North Leitrim Glens Hill Walking festival can be deemed a complete success
The 156 walkers and guides who donned their boots on Easter Sat 2018 in Leitrim were treated to stunning views over Glenade Valley. If walkers weren't breathless from the steep climb at the start, then they certainly were by the views that awaited them when they got to the top!
|Walkers with Peek a Dha in the background|
Easter Sunday was also the inaugural walk of the new Arroo Trail Head. This stunning walk is the result of collaboration between the local community, landowners, Leitrim Development Company, Sligo Leader, Leitrim County Council and Leitrim Recreation Forum. Ask any walker that took the trail on Sunday and they would confirm that it was all so very worth while. What better ambassador to tell people about the walk than Glenade's own Colin Regan. Colin explained the process to the group of ramblers who took the trail and his pride in his native valley was palpable.
Members of An Oige group and locals with Colin on the Arroo Trail
Colin Regan with Arroo Mountain in the background
Hot soup, homemade brown bread and sweet treats revived walkers afterwards at the former national school. The miracle of the loaves and fishes was repeated when twice as many walkers as estimated turned up but nothing was a problem to the women and men of Aghanlish Community.
Tasty treats to revive walkers
Ask any of the 150+ walkers who turned up both days what the highlight was and you'll probably get 300+ different answers. For one Swiss walker it was the absolute joy of spotting two Peregrine Falcons on Glenade Escarpment, for the co-coordinator of the Dublin An Oige group it was the softness of the border that enabled communication between their accommodation and transport company in Fermanagh with the organisers in Letirim to ensure a seamless weekend of activities and entertainment for them. For other walkers it was the personal achievement, one completing his first ever hill walk, another getting over an injury. Without exception, all were well aware of the feel good factor that a day in nature affords with benefits for body, soul and mind.
The North Leitrim Glens Hill Walking Festival is run by a dedicated group of volunteers from the Holey Soles Hill Walking Club and guides from Leitrim Landscapes Guided Walks. The support from local communities, landowners and sponsors; Trail blazers, Call of the Wild and Leitrim Co Council enable it all to happen. The guides who help from North West Mountain Rescue and Sligo Clubs keep everyone safe on the hills. The watchful eye of the Sligo Leitrim Mountain Rescue volunteers who are on call for the festival, make everyone feel a little easier in their responsibility to guests. The fantastic and ever enthusiastic PRO Dervilla Keegan is an inspiration to all. The economic benefit that the festival brings to the area is an added bonus with accommodation, transport, restaurants and pubs benefiting from the visitors. Long may it continue. Leitrim Abu!
Thanks to Evan Sweeney, Sheila O'Keeffe, Dervilla Keegan, Noirin Clancy, Paul Keogh and Nuala McNulty for the pics