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Donegal East Area , S: Castlefinn Hills Subarea
Feature count in area: 12, all in Donegal, OSI/LPS Maps: 11, 12, 6, 7
Highest Place: Culliagh SE Top 369m

Starting Places (9) in area Donegal East:
Ardnabreena, Ballystrang School Ruin, Corlacky Burn, Edenacarnan East, Edenacarnan South, Garrangalta Rocks, Knockbrin, Labbadoo Wood, Sruthaunagallagh Stream

Summits & other features in area Donegal East:
N: Raphoe: Binnion Hill 190m, Dooish Mountain 266m, High Bank 171m, Mongorry Hill 284m
NW: Letterkenny Hills: Ballystrang 292m, Cark Mountain 364m, Culliagh SE Top 369m, Gregory Hill 336m, Knockbrin 259m
S: Castlefinn Hills: Croaghan Hill 217m, Fearns Hill 231m, Meenavally 219m

Note: this list of places may include island features such as summits, but not islands as such.
Rating graphic.
Croaghan Hill, 217m Hill Cruachán A name in Irish,
Place Rating ..
(prob. Ir. An Cruachán [PDT], 'little stack'), Donegal County in Ulster province, in Binnion Lists, Croaghan Hill is the 1368th highest place in Ireland. Croaghan Hill is the second most southerly summit in the Donegal East area.
Grid Reference H29941 97471, OS 1:50k mapsheet 6,12
Place visited by: 24 members, recently by: wintersmick, ronanmckee, conormcbandon, trostanite, eflanaga, dino, Claybird007, dregish, eejaymm, eamonoc, Fergalh, Vils, 40Shades, chalky, Aidy
I visited this place: NO (You need to be a logged-in member for this.)
Longitude: -7.534967, Latitude: 54.824146, Easting: 229941, Northing: 397471, Prominence: 173m,  Isolation: 7.4km
ITM: 629883 897460
Bedrock type: Marble, quartzite, psammite; graphitic, (Aghyaran & Killygordon Limestone Formation)

  Short or GPS IDs, 6 char: Crg217, 10 char: CrghnHi217

Gallery for Croaghan Hill (Cruachán) and surrounds
Summary for Croaghan Hill (Cruachán): A short walk to an ancient site
Summary created by Harry Goodman 2010-07-10 06:06:47
   picture about Croaghan Hill (<em>Cruachán</em>)
Picture: Excavations or vandalisim on the ancient summit cairn of Croaghan Hill
This hill can be approached from the N15 by turning right at A (H315 967) on to a minor road which is very narrow, at times hedge lined and is used as access to the fields by various farm machinery so care is needed. It soon deteriorates to a poor but passable surface on the way up to B (H30538 97694) where there is just enough room for one car to park off road. Once over the farm gate go SW down the field to C (H30256 97407), cross the fence and go up to D (H30090 97440) and another fence. Cross over and follow up, keeping a fence to the left side, to E (H30029 97554). Cross yet another fence and walk out SW across the heather for approximately 100 metres to the trig pillar set atop a small grass and heather covered mound at F (H29938 97466), shown on the OS map as an ancient Hill Fort and Cairn. Part of the mound has been dug out either as part of an exploratory excavation or by vandalisim. There are excellent views SE across Strabane to Bessy Bell and the Sperrins and to the N and W the hills of South Donegal. Return by way of ascent, A walk of some 2km and approximately 60 metres of climb.
Member Comments for Croaghan Hill (Cruachán)
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   picture about Croaghan Hill (<em>Cruachán</em>)
Picture: Looking SE to Bessy Bell from Croaghan Hill
Is it to the left or to the right ? Choose carefully !
by Harry Goodman 10 Jul 2010
As I noted this hill had not, to date, been commented on in MV and as It is only a short detour off the main road between Letterkenny and Strabane, I decided on 7 July 2010 to go and seek it out when driving home from Donegal. I took the N15 SW from Lifford and turned right on to a minor road at A (H315 967). Although the surface deteriorated somewhat on the way up it was passable. I parked at B (H30538 97694) where, in spite of some "fly tipping" the car was off the road. Having climbed over the gate I decided to head for the right flank of the hill around a small tree plantation. Major, major mistake!! Although I eventually reached the summit F (H29938 97466), marked by a distinct grassy mound with a trig pillar on top, this was only after battling through and over patches of thick , prickly gorse. Not to be recommended ! However anyone thinking of climbing this small hill will be pleased to note that there is a happy ending to this tale. As often happens from the top of a hill alternative routes down present themselves and this was the case for Croaghan Hill. From the trig pillar I walked NNE across the heather to a fence at E (H30029 97554) where I crossed over, turned right and followed it down to a fence junction at D (H30090 97440) which I also crossed before going down the field to a final fence at C (H30256 97407). Once across it was an easy walk up to my starting point. While the fences on this hill are a bit of a bind for the walker the absence of thick gorse on my descent was pure joy. Therefore for anyone wishing to climb this hill I would strongly recommend that my descent route is is reversed and used for the ascent. The walk up and down is about 2km with only about 60m of climb. The trig pillar sits on top of a distinct small grass and heather covered mound, a part of which appears to have been partly dug out. The OS map indicates the presence of a hill fort and cairn at the top and I assume this mound is part of the ancient site. In this regard I also came across an old cairn of stones before starting my battle with the gorse on my way up. This is at G (H30234 97767) for anyone who wants to locate it, but is not on my recommended route up. There are pleasing views SE across Lifford and Strabane to Bessy Bell and the Sperrins and generally all around this area of S Donegal. Linkback:
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   picture about Croaghan Hill (<em>Cruachán</em>)
The Tallest Mountain in The World!
by dino 24 Nov 2012
Croaghan Hill for all its size is clearly visible for the whole of the Finn Valley and while it could never be accused of dominating the skyline it is never far away. I'm from Castlefinn originally and Croaghan was clearly visible from our back window. As a child I was firmly of the opinion that it was the tallest mountain in the world!

I'm pretty sure I climbed up here when I was about 15/16 but I can't remember that visit and I have a feeling I was beaten by the terrain on the SW of the hill as that would have been the approach by foot from home. Today I came using the excellent waypoints provided by Harry Goodman and had no difficulties.

The climb up is pretty steady the whole way and involves crossing a number of fences but should be easy for most seasoned walkers. The fields are extensively grazed by sheep so if you have a dog make sure you have a lead or it knows how to behave around livestock.

The top of the hill is an ancient hillfort and the unmapped trigpoint is built slap on top of what is believed to be a burial tomb. It's believed to be the tomb of no lesser being than Ithe who was the uncle of Milesius, the first of the country's legendary invaders. He was killed in the Battle if Mag Itha (Finn Valley), the first recorded battle in Ireland, against the Tuatha De Danaan and buried inside the Bronze age hill fort on top of Croaghan Hill. He was buried in the highest point in this area so that even in death people would still have to raise their heads to look at him. His tomb is known as the Foyde.

It's also believed that one of the stones of nearby Beltany Stone Circle was sourced from Croaghan Hill and transported the 5km to Beltany.

The fantastic 360 views from this smallish hill are amazing and it's easy to see why this site was chosen as a location for a hill fort. Today I had clear views to the Bluestacks, Errigal and Muckish as well as nearby Bessy Bell and further on to the snow dusted Sperrins. Linkback:
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   picture about Croaghan Hill (<em>Cruachán</em>)
Picture: Torn Donegal Flag, half devoured by the wind, with the Bluestack Mountains on the horizon
A Quick Fix
by Aidy 22 Nov 2013
Events conspired to keep me out of the hills for almost a month, and I had only a brief window today, so decided to try for a couple of short walks; Croaghan Hill, and Owenreagh Hill in Tyrone. It was a beautiful, bright, frosty morning when I turned the car off the N15 onto the Haw Road to access Croaghan. The road soon turned into a rough lane and I parked where another lane branched off to the right, allowing parking without blocking the way. I proceeded on foot straight along the lane until it turned to the left, where I climbed a rusty gate, and crossed two fields and barbed wire fences on the way to the summit. At the top of the second field I stayed left (West) of the forested area and entered a whin covered final section. There was a vague path alongside a fence which got me through the whins, although not without a few "jags". The summit with trig pillar was to the left of this path and meant another fence crossing.

The views from the top are great for such a small hill which only took about 20 minutes to ascend. The Bluestacks and the Sperrins could be seen and there were expansive views over Strabane and East Donegal. Highly recommended if you are short on time and need a fix. Linkback:
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   picture about Croaghan Hill (<em>Cruachán</em>)
Thick Skin Recommended
by dino 11 Oct 2021
Having spent my Sunday off completing household chores I had a need to get out in the fresh air and Croaghan fitted the bill perfectly. It's a decent walk, less than an hour and close to home. I have been up hear a few times before and I knew it was a while since my last visit but was surprised to see it was almost 9 years ago!

I used the same route as many others but this hill may soon need a different approach as the first hedge has only one crossing point now (be careful of the barbed wire!) and if the farmer fixes the gap then it's pretty impassable.

At the third fence the downhill side of the next fence you follow along has become really overgrown with brambles and gorse. I decided to go along the uphill side which was a mistake. Stick with the downhill side as it soon clears after approx 20m. This is definitely not passable in shorts and I'd highly recommend heavier trousers if possible. My light leggings didn't really do the job today!

The trigpoint has a flag pole attached since my last visit but no flag today. Seems like a lot of effort to go to for very little reward as I doubt the flag would be visible from the valley below.

Today the views were fantastic. I could see Knockavoe where I was last week, a cracker sunset over the Bluestacks and a great view of Mongorry with Beltany Tops in between.

Leaving the summit along a surprisingly well defined path there appears to be a path heading to the left of the forestry plantation but I didn't have time to explore where it went. This might provide an alternative if the fence mentioned earlier gets closed off.

Full report and photos on my blog:
. Linkback:
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