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Donald's Hill 399m,
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Keenaght Area   Keenaght East Subarea
Place count in area: 5, OSI/LPS Maps: 4, 7, 8 
Highest place:
Donald's Hill, 399m
Maximum height for area: 399 metres,     Maximum prominence for area: 270 metres,

Places in area Keenaght:
Keenaght East:   Binevenagh 385mDonald's Hill 399mKeady Mountain 337m
Keenaght West:   Gortnessy Hill 176mLoughermore 396m

Note: this list of places includes island features such as summits, but not islands as such.
Rating graphic.
Donald's Hill Hill Cnoc na hEarcola A name in Irish, also Knocknahurkle an extra name in English (Ir. Cnoc na hEarcola [Séamas Ó Ceallaigh], 'hill of the [obscure
Derry County in NI and in Ulster Province, in Binnion List, Olivine basalt lava Bedrock

Height: 399m OS 1:50k Mapsheet: 8 Grid Reference: C74300 17300
Place visited by 42 members. Recently by: ChrisC, pdtempan, Paddym99, garybuz, Claybird007, mullanger, dregish, LorraineG60, m0jla, eamonoc, Fergalh, MichaelG55, eejaymm, scottwalker, Wilderness
I have visited this place: NO (You need to be a logged-in member to change this.)

Longitude: -6.839835, Latitude: 54.99762 , Easting: 274300, Northing: 417300 Prominence: 176m,  Isolation: 6.3km
ITM: 674233 917285,   GPS IDs, 6 char: DnldHl, 10 char: DnldsHil
Bedrock type: Olivine basalt lava, (Upper Basalt Formation)

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.   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.

COMMENTS for Donald's Hill (Cnoc na hEarcola) 1 2 Next page >>  
Follow this place's comments Picture about mountain Donald's Hill (<i>Cnoc na hEarcola</i>) in area Keenaght, Ireland
Picture: Looking SW to Donald's Hill Top
A panoramic view point.
Short Summary created by Harry Goodman  30 Jul 2011
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 C738166 starA 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 C752185 starB. 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. Linkback: Picture about mountain Donald's Hill (<i>Cnoc na hEarcola</i>) in area Keenaght, Ireland
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 (752185 starB). 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:
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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 C7561718231 starC 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 C7532317810 starD. 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 C7432417276 starE. 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 C752185 starB. 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 C780176 starF. Two unlocked gates have to be passed through on the way up to the start of the walk. Linkback:
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three5four0 on Donald's Hill, 2009
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 756182 starG 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:
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Derry259 on Donald's Hill, 2010
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:
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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:
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