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Keenaght Area , Keenaght East Subarea
Feature count in area: 5, all in Derry, OSI/LPS Maps: 4, 7, 8
Highest Place: Donald's Hill 399m

Starting Places in area Keenaght:

None for this area

Summits & other features in area Keenaght:
Keenaght East: Binevenagh 385m, Donald's Hill 399m, Keady Mountain 337m
Keenaght West: Gortnessy Hill 176m, Loughermore 396m

Note: this list of places may include island features such as summits, but not islands as such.
Rating graphic.
Donald's Hill, 399m Hill Cnoc na hEarcola A name in Irish,
Place Rating ..
(Ir. Cnoc na hEarcola [Séamas Ó Ceallaigh], 'hill of the [obscure
element]')
Knocknahurkle an extra name in English, Derry County in Ulster province, in Binnion Lists, Donald's Hill is the highest hill in the Keenaght area and the 958th highest in Ireland. Donald's Hill is the most easterly in the Keenaght area.
Grid Reference C74300 17300, OS 1:50k mapsheet 8
Place visited by: 40 members, recently by: Paddym99, garybuz, Claybird007, mullanger, dregish, LorraineG60, m0jla, eamonoc, Fergalh, MichaelG55, eejaymm, scottwalker, Wilderness, trostanite, sperrinlad
I visited this place: NO (You need to be a logged-in member for this.)
Longitude: -6.839835, Latitude: 54.99762, Easting: 274300, Northing: 417300, Prominence: 176m,  Isolation: 6.3km
ITM: 674233 917285,   Short or GPS IDs, 6 char: DnldHl, 10 char: DnldsHil
Bedrock type: Olivine basalt lava, (Upper Basalt Formation)
Notes on name: The Ordnance Survey Memoirs of 1834 record this hill as Donalds Hill or Knocknahurkle (OSM, ix, 34). Séamas Ó Ceallaigh derives this from something like Cnoc na hEarcola in his comments on the Topographical Fragments in the Franciscan Library.
Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/842/
Gallery for Donald's Hill (Cnoc na hEarcola) and surrounds
Summary for Donald's Hill (Cnoc na hEarcola): A panoramic view point.
Summary created by Harry Goodman 2011-07-30 15:58:51
            MountainViews.ie picture about Donald's Hill (<em>Cnoc na hEarcola</em>)
Picture: Looking SW to Donald's Hill Top
The new edition of OSNI Discoverer Series Sheet 08 (2010) shows a waymarked trail across Donald's Hill for the Ulster Way and North Sperrins Way. While at the time of writing the installation of trail furniture is not yet in place (June 2010) the map gives good guidance for access to the hill. Access from the SW side is at
A

(C738 166)

where a farm track and then a fence line can be followed NE to the top, a climb of some 250m. Alternatively access can be gained from the NE side of the hill at a farm gate on the Temain Road at
B

(C752 185)

. From here a raised track can be followed SW across the blanket bog for some 700m where it ends abbruptly leaving a further 700m across heather, drainage ditches and long grass to the top. Although there is only 40 metres of climb in all from start to finish, this last 700m is over energy sapping terrain. There is a fine panorama across the Roe Valley from the top. For up to date information on the access routes see also the walkni web pages for the Ulster Way/ North Sperrins Way, including downloadable maps.
Member Comments for Donald's Hill (Cnoc na hEarcola)

            MountainViews.ie picture about Donald's Hill (<em>Cnoc na hEarcola</em>)
Picture: Looking SW from Donald's Hill to Benbradagh & the higher Sperrins
Fine vantage point (once you get there)
by slemish 30 Jul 2011
I passed Donald's Hill on the way home from a recent trip to Donegal and decided to bag it whilst in the area. I approached from the NE via the Temain road and parked up at the gate mentioned by Harry Goodman ( B (C752 185) ). I was heartened by his comment that there was a raised track all the way to the summit and as it looked quite close I thought I could maybe get away with a quick visit. I made good progress down this track for a good 700m until to my dismay the track disappeared into the surrounding terrain.

Now I had to face another 700m of bog, deep heather, drainage ditches and energy-sapping long grass all the way to the summit which was a bit of a misery. With no obvious path I headed straight for a fence line which gets close to the final raised area up to the 399m summit. Thankfully the summit itself is quite dry with a couple of rocks to stand on. In contrast to the unpleasant climb the views from Donald's Hill are very good indeed, its isolation from other hills giving it a fine panorama.

There is a great view into Donegal with the Derryveaghs and Inishowen hills very prominent. There was an interesting visual effect where the huge bulk of Muckish sat directly in line behind Loughsalt Mountain almost like a silhouette. Benbradagh and the higher Sperrins lie to the SW - Sawel looks very high from this direction. Carntogher unfortunately blocks the view to the Mournes but the whole length of the Antrim hills from Divis to Knocklayd is easily visible. It was a very clear evening and looking to the left of Knocklayd I could make out the hills of Kintyre but then was shocked to see the Paps of Jura crisply defined against the evening sky, visible at a distance of almost 115km. The long views held my attention for some time until I decided to return to the car through the tough terrain.

This hill has fine views but I would not recommend approaching it from this direction. Possibly the steep climb from the SW side might be easier? The whole trip ended up taking me about an hour. Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/842/comment/6445/
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            MountainViews.ie picture about Donald's Hill (<em>Cnoc na hEarcola</em>)
Picture: Looking SSW to Benbraddagh from the top of Donald's Hill
Much effort for such little height gain!
by Harry Goodman 30 Jul 2011
Parking at C (C75617 18231) I climbed, or more correctly walked out to Donald's Hill on Wed. 16 June 2010. Although the climb was only about 40 metres three5four0 got it spot on in noting that "to say the going was heavy would be an understatement", indeed it would. The first 500m or so SW across this moorland bog was torturous until I reached a fence at D (C75323 17810) . Continuing SW I then followed the fence along on easier ground, apart from one deep ditch, to just below the small summit area where I crossed over the fence and out to the top at E (C74324 17276) . This is a fine vantage point. There is a panoramic sweep N across the Roe Valley to Binevenagh and Lough Foyle with the Inishowen hills beyond. To the W is tree covered Loughermore and the wind farm on Altahullion Hill, while to the S is the prominent cone of Benbradagh and the Sperrins. I returned by way of ascent. This is a small hill well worth climbing for the summit views but, this said, would I recommend my route? Very definitely not! However read on, help is at hand! Since climbing the hill I have had sight of the new 2010 edition of the OSNI Discoverer Sheet 08 which shows a route (Ulster Way/North Sperrins Way) across the hill. Although this has not as yet been waymarked on the ground I understand its access point to Donald's Hill, from the N on Temain Road, is from a gate at B (C752 185) . From here a raised track can be followed SW across the blanket bog for some 700m before taking to the open moorland of heather, drainage ditches and long grass to reach the top. This route is regarded locally as the easiest approach to the summit. Temain Road runs W off the B190 at F (C780 176) . Two unlocked gates have to be passed through on the way up to the start of the walk. Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/842/comment/5888/
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three5four0 on Donald's Hill
by three5four0 22 Jan 2009
We approached Donalds Hill along the Temain (Hill?) road, from the B190. There are two gates across the Temain road, which you have to open then close behind you, before arriving at the first of the transmission masts. Just before the entrance to the first mast, there is just enough room on the verge to park your car at C (C756 182) and still leave enough room for passing vehicles.

Cross the fence at a suitable point and head out over the bogland to Donalds Hill, to say the going was heavy would be an understatement! The usual villains were all present, deep heather & rushes, hidden holes & fissures, old drainage ditches and soft ground, to round it off we were walking into 60 mile an hour plus snow bearing gale. Below the final slope, the better half decided to stay by the fence incase she was blown over by the wind on the summit, i continued over the fence and up the short slope to the summit area, where i came to the conclusion that the weather forecast was wrong and the wind speed was more above 70 than 60.

There is a re-entrant that breaks the summit area in to a 'u' shape (Donalds Pot?) with small rises either side, with both visited (and a strange small mound with a collapsed centre) i beat a hasty retreat back to the fence & "she who must be obeyed" and then across the hillside back to our car. Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/842/comment/3537/
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            MountainViews.ie picture about Donald's Hill (<em>Cnoc na hEarcola</em>)
Derry259 on Donald's Hill
by Derry259 5 Mar 2010
Donalds Hill is the nearest mountain to my home ,as i write this I can see it's snow covered summit from my living room.Donalds Hill is best climbed from Gortnarney Road,from Drumsurn village travel towards Dungiven before taking first left at Kilhoyle Road,after a 1/2 mile take another left onto Gortnarney Road and continue for 1/4 mile until a sign for Ulster way appears.Cross stile on right and follow a visible farm track to ruins of limestone works,continue on the track which leads to one of largest and best preserved Raths in Ulster known as the Kings Fort.Superb views of the Roe Valley ,Sperrins,Foyle Basin and Donegal Hills are visible from the Rath.To reach the summit it is best to retrace your steps from the Rath a few hundred yards before heading upwards as this avoids a few steeper areas,once the summit is reached it is possible to return by the same route or head towards the Broadband Mast and then down remembering to keep right to avoid steeper ground.A nice hill to climb which can be done up and down in just over an hour............ Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/842/comment/4472/
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            MountainViews.ie picture about Donald's Hill (<em>Cnoc na hEarcola</em>)
Picture: King's Fort on the slopes of Donalds Hill - Benbradagh in the background
Donalds Hill - much added value
by Welder 11 May 2012
Bearing in mind the boggy warnings, I fancied taking the shortest looking route and followed Derry259's advice from the Gortnarney Road. The Sperrin / Ulster way signpost is a handy indication of where to begin, although parking nearby is not great. The walk begins over a stile and into a field along a track. Past the gate and winding uphill you come to a complex of large lime kilns. I left the path at this point as I always wanted to incorporate the impressive King's Fort into the walk (slightly to the south). Approaching the monument there is an information board and wooden walkway over boggy ground. The monument is very impressive, with deep ditch and high banks well preserved - although suffering from animal trampling near the causewayed entrance (Environment Agency take note!). From here I continued straight up the slope to the rear, over a fence onto the mountain proper and north toward the summit. A few hundred yards of heather and I was on the last rise to the modest summit. More archaeology - its topped by a denuded burial cairn, probably Bronze Age. The top affords fine views across the the Roe and Foyle to Inishowen and Slieve Snaght. I could also make out Muckish, Sawel, Slemish, Trostan, Knocklayd, part of the north coast cliffs and even Scottish hills on Kintyre. A relatively short walk and easy approach for much of interest and great views. Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/842/comment/6797/
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