The Hidden Lake

Loch Áltan Travel Blog

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The innocents starting out at the foot of Errigal

A group of friends set off from the Dún Luiche (Dunlewey) side of Errigal Mountain (751 Metres) Donegal's highest mountain, and headed due north guided by the peak of Aghla Mór, a mountain to the east of Errigal. After a steep initial section we topped the ridge and saw the rest of the mountain range through the haze, running east, northeast, for the first time. A further hour over land (mainly soft grass, mountain grazing and rather wet bogland) we reached the crest of the last ridge and there was the full face of Aghla Mór, the Shepherd's 'castle' and the stunning azure of Loch Áltan.

The lake is reputed to reach over 80 metres in depth and holds moderate stocks of trout. It is nestled between the slopes of Aghla Mór to the east and Beahy to the west.

Gathering our nerve
Due to its nestling location one cannot see the lake from any vantage point except by trekking in over the bogland.  The site is graced with a waterfall and 'folly-style' castelated building (now derelict) once used by shepherds working for the landed gentry at the big estate at Glenveagh House (See my Glenveagh Review).

We all made it safely, ate lunch and then made the rather arduous walk back over the ridge and eventually into 'civilisation'. If you do this walk allow 3+ hours for a gentle pace and at least an hour for lunch and exploration of the lake shore. It is also possible to traverse its western shore and carry on to the townland of Prucklish due north of the lake. Enjoy the photos, we really enjoyed the walk (especially my smelly dog - Boo which rhymes with .... you get it!).

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The innocents starting out at the …
The innocents starting out at the…
Gathering our nerve
Gathering our nerve
First breather
First breather
Heading for the ridge and our firs…
Heading for the ridge and our fir…
Beahy and some interesting ancient…
Beahy and some interesting ancien…
Looking due east toward Aghla Beg …
Looking due east toward Aghla Beg…
South west toward Glenveagh
South west toward Glenveagh
No this is my best side... The oth…
No this is my best side... The ot…
Taking a breather with ole stinky …
Taking a breather with ole stinky…
Me and Theresa at the 
Hark Rock…
Me and Theresa at the 'Hark Roc…
Denise in Beam me up Scotty pose
Denise in 'Beam me up Scotty' pose
Eoin on the trail
Eoin on the trail
Danielle at the water jump!
Danielle at the water jump!
First sight of Loch Áltan & Aghla…
First sight of Loch Áltan & Aghl…
More is revealed as we decend
More is revealed as we decend
The Shepherds Castle
The 'Shepherd's Castle'
Here we come
Here we come
Next to the Castle by the lake
Next to the 'Castle' by the lake
Watch out here I go.
Watch out here I go.
Boo in her element
Boo in her element
Boo searching for stones
Boo searching for stones
Ladies gracefully leave the island…
Ladies gracefully leave the islan…
The waterfall that feeds the lake
The waterfall that feeds the lake
Mary and Eoin cross the stepping s…
Mary and Eoin cross the stepping …
Here we are... Ahhhhhhhhh. Move ov…
Here we are... Ahhhhhhhhh. Move o…
Thats better!
Thats better!
Look, Look I can walk on water!
Look, Look I can walk on water!
Its lovely once youre in!
Its lovely once you're in!
Looking west toward Beahy
Looking west toward Beahy
Heading back home
Heading back home
Errigal from the south, Áltan is …
Errigal from the south, Áltan is…
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photo by: paulkernan
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