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Shannon Area Printable format
Maximum height for area: 694 metres Summits in area: 53
OS Map(s): 52, 53, 54, 58, 59, 60, 65, 66 for all tops Set Area Map On

Walk Guide 51 for
Maintainer: beckett
Guide rating stars (Guide rating: 3.83)

MountainViews.ie Picture from walk Silvermines, Shannon
Walk length: 8.2km   Ascent: 280m   Duration (without stops): 2:40 h:mm
The Silvermines walk features a trek across the undulating ridge that runs from Silvermines East Top to West Top. The walk is not demanding and navigation is simple. The climbing effort is distributed throughout the walk with short climbs and descents as you make your way across the heather clad slopes following a discernible sheep track. The peaks have a distinct purple colour when the heater flowers and you may be lucky enough to see deer grazing in some of the wide forest rides. The old disused Silver Mine is visibly from the first peak and on your left Keeper Hill towers impressively as you make your way along the ridge. Two starting options are presented; the walk statistics presented are for option two which starts at the forest entrance. Those talking the first option which starts in the Silvermines village will need to add an extra 80 minutes to the time and an additional 280 metres to the ascent. This is an ideal walk for a summer evening when time is limited or for those looking for a gentle introduction to Hill Walking.
Points visited:
Start = R844 694 - Forest Ride = R843 694 - Silvermine Mountains E Top - Silvermine Mountains W Top - Cairn = R811 695 - Finish = R844 694
 (Guide last changed: 2007-05-28)

OS discovery map 59 will be required for this walk.

Approaches and Parking
From Limerick follow the N7 until you see a clearly marked turn for Silvermines Village. This will take you east along the R449, which runs directly through the village. From the north or east of the country you can go to Nenagh and then follow the R500 directly to the village. There are a number of options for starting the walk; the choice depends on how much time you want to spend on surfaced roads. If you don’t mind walking on a surfaced road you can start at the beautiful village of Silvermines and then begin the walk up the steadily rising surfaced road over a picturesque stone bridge (R842 714 (Point A)). There are a number of other parking alternatives along this road with at a least two large car parks and parking either side of the forest entrance at the top of the hill.

MountainViews.ie Picture from walk Silvermines, Shannon
There are no significant safety concerns on this climb. The ground on the southern side of the ridge is steep, but not excessively so, with a few large crags that are easily negotiated. The road up from Silvermines is very narrow with room for just one car. There are a number of turning circles where you can pull in to let oncoming traffic pass, you may often have to reverse back a steep incline to reach these so take car and approach at a slow speed to minimise the necessity to do this.

Start Option 1, Village
On the Eastern side of the village there is a picturesque bridge over a stream (R842 714 (Point A)) which can be used as a starting point. This option adds an extra 283 metres ascent over a 2.7Km leg to the walk over a steadily rising surfaced road. The road forks halfway up the hill, you should continue on the more clearly defined right had route meeting the first car park shortly after rounding the bend.

Start Option 2, Forest
This option is for the purest, averse to surfaced roads; beginning at the entrance to the forest R844 694 (Point B), if you take this option you will have a modest climb of 280 metres spread evenly along the length of the walk.

MountainViews.ie Picture from walk Silvermines, Shannon
Forest Entrance
From the forest entrance follow the main path west to an intersection, take the south going path here (left) until you see a way marked sign (R843 694 (Point C)) pointing into the forest through a wide ride, there a few wooden steps at the start of this path. This is a popular spot for deer, so keep your eyes peeled as you begin a gentle climb. After 800m another way marked sign steers you to the right as the main rides dissolves into the wood a little further on. After 200 metres the path switches back to a southerly direction and the peak of Silvermine East Top becomes visible. The path structure is different from that shown on the map; so don't be surprised if you find it difficult to relate what you see on the ground to what is represented on the map. You eventually come to a fence, which is easily crossed at the point of intersection with the path.

Silvermines East Top
A broad path now carries you to the first summit (R833 694 (Point D)). Ahead you can see the ridge stretching out with the broad path narrowing into a faint sheep track winding through the heather. There is a slight dip before regaining a little height and then a significant descent as you lose 50m before beginning the ascent for West Top.

Silvermines West Top
On your left now you should see Keeper hill's northern face with gullies and streams producing clearly pronounced folds in the contours that rise steeply towards the Eagle's Nest. West Top is somewhat indistinct, but the scar of the old disused Silver Mine should be obvious to the North. The ridge steepens on the southern side now and Keeper Hill becomes more pronounced. The track winds on following the contour a feet metres below the top of the ridge.

The end point of the walk is a cairn 1km ahead off and some 30 metres below West Top (R811 695 (Point E)) , this is a nice spot for lunch before you contemplate the return journey, on the northern side there are a few crags that offer shelter. To the west the ridge continues, though gradually dissolving into lower lying farmland. From the cairn you can retrace your steps to your starting point.

Point A: R842 714 Point B: R844 694 Point C: R843 694
Point D: R833 694 Point E: R811 695 (turn area map On)

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