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Donegal North Area , E: Fanad Subarea
Feature count in area: 9, all in Donegal, OSI/LPS Maps: 2
Highest Place: Knockalla 363m

Starting Places (13) in area Donegal North:
Coshia, Crocknagrauv, Crocknamarrow, Crocknapisha, Glenvar, Lough Cor Road, Lough Hanane, Lurganboy Wind Farm, Mevagh Cross, Narrow Step, Stella Maris Meevagh, Trá na Rossan, Trá na Rossan Hostel

Summits & other features in area Donegal North:
Cen: Rosguill: Crocknasleigh 163m, Ganiamore 207m
E: Fanad: Cashelmore 149m, Knockalla 363m, Murren Hill 227m, Crockdonnelly 152m, Craigcannon 357m, Drumavohy Hill 153m
W: Horn Head: Croaghnamaddy 252m

Note: this list of places may include island features such as summits, but not islands as such.
Rating graphic.
Knockalla, 363m Hill Cnoc Colbha A name in Irish,
Place Rating ..
(Ir. Cnoc Colbha [OSI], 'hill of the ledge or edge') The Devil's Backbone an extra name in English, Donegal County in Ulster province, in Binnion Lists, Cnoc Colbha is the highest hill in the Donegal North area and the 1033th highest in Ireland. Cnoc Colbha is the second most southerly summit and also the second most easterly in the Donegal North area.
Grid Reference C23592 34284, OS 1:50k mapsheet 2
Place visited by: 46 members, recently by: rhw, kernowclimber, mcrtchly, ChrisC, Wilderness, eamonoc, k_der, pmeldrum, cairns-pj, Q35on, Fergalh, trostanite, NICKY, Aidy, Lucky1
I visited this place: NO (You need to be a logged-in member for this.)
Longitude: -7.630717, Latitude: 55.155148, Easting: 223592, Northing: 434284, Prominence: 328m,  Isolation: 4.1km
ITM: 623536 934265
Bedrock type: Whitish quartzite with pebble beds, (Slieve Tooey Quartzite Formation)
Notes on name: Knockalla has twin summits of the same height. It is also known as the Devil's Backbone.
  Short or GPS IDs, 6 char: Knc363, 10 char: Knockalla

Gallery for Knockalla (Cnoc Colbha) and surrounds
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Member Comments for Knockalla (Cnoc Colbha)
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   picture about Knockalla (<em>Cnoc Colbha</em>)
Picture: Knockalla ridge from Crockanaffrin
Fanad-tastic Ridge Walk
by gerrym 26 Jul 2010
Starting point is the large chapel carpark in Glenvar (A (C256 345)). Take the lane the other side of the chapel, passing fields cut for silage and those full of horses, past an old house to a gate and field beyond. A fenceline keeps the mountainside at bay and following this NE brings the track with the station sof the cross.

Follow this uphill to reach the 3 prominent white crosses at a place of outdoor worship complete with concrete alter, lecturn and chair - an amazing spot which would nearly knock the athiesm out of me! A building contains a grotto and some shelter if it was needed. Views reach over Lough Swilly to the steep drops of the Urris Hills, the other hills of Inishowen and most of the high Sperrins.

Continue uphill and will pick up another fenceline which will lead to the track heading to the E side of the mountain which I used before climbing steeply to NE summit cairn. Good immediate views over the sands at Portsalon. There is water in all directions as peninsulas of land try thier best to reach northward, althought the bigger hills of Donegal from Muckish to the Bluestacks do get a look in.

A distinct sheep track heads for the SW top and brings the delightful sight of the twin loughs, walking high above before dropping down to thier shores on a rough track. Big blocks of scree cover the hill behind the lough - following the rough track downhill allows an easier line of ascent for the SW top. This has significant damage from bikes on the way up and at the top. The sumit cairn is more substancial and gives great views over Mulroy Bay with numerous fish farms. Also just made out Cuilciagh and more easily the big cairn on Muckish and a superb profile of Errigal.

Follow the rough track steeply downhill to the road which leads back to Glenvar. Peat was burning on this warm day - a query easily answered by locals who needed thier hot water! A walk of just over 2 hours which was an adventure in itself. Linkback:
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The Traverse of the Devils Back Bone
by three5four0 18 Apr 2010
There is enough space for 2-3 cars to park at Gl'var (C252 341), by an old mass rock on the minor road south east of Knockalla. From here follow the road back towards the R247, till you meet a lane way at B (B (C247 336)) and follow this lane up hill. Where the track swings round towards the Knockalla Loughs, pick you line (left) up hill to Knockallas west summit. Views are superb from the summit, return towards the lochans (there is an all terrain vehicle tracks over the summit area), but choose your line as there is a small bluff and a short but blocky band of small boulders to avoid , right beside the first lough. You can now follow a track towards the twin summit, which ends on its upper slopes and then follow a faint path up to the summit.

On the way there, the space between the tops and small ring contours frame various Donegal mountains and beaches well, have you camera ready!. There is another track which you glimpse from time to time as well, which may be worth investigating. From the second summit, descend straight down hill, taking care to turn a few minor outcrops on the way. You should see the stations of the cross on your left, as you approach an old stone wall and cross a wire fence. You want to be heading towards a lane by an old ruined farm house at roughly C (C256 349). As you approach you reach a wire fence, turn right and follow this and again when it takes a turn towards the lane. Cross open ground , with the fence on your left now and walk towards the ruined farmhouse, where you will find a gate onto the lane. Follow this lane down on to the minor road, by a church, where it is a short walk back to the car. Linkback:
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glasgowjim on Knockalla
by glasgowjim 15 Sep 2009
There are 2 good ways to enjoy the Knockalla mountain , firstly walk around to the end of the knockalla just past Collins fort along the coast road and you will see a tractor track to the left follow this up and traverse along the top of the ridge all along the way to Kerrykeel. On a clear day the views are superb. Alternatively you can tread in the footsteps of the Fanad men who crossed the mountain to reach the chapel in Glaenvar for Sunday mass. Best way is to climb the "donkey pad " from the portsalon side and then over and along to the church. Linkback:
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   picture about Knockalla (<em>Cnoc Colbha</em>)
Picture: Knockalla from Stocker Strand
pdtempan on Knockalla
by pdtempan 20 Mar 2009
Colbha is Irish for a ledge or shelf, and in this view of Knockalla/Cnoc Colbha from the north it is possible to see the ledge which runs along the NW side of the mountain at around 300m, below the summit cliffs. The waters of Knockalla Loughs, situated about halfway between the twin summits, are trapped on this ledge. Linkback:
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   picture about Knockalla (<em>Cnoc Colbha</em>)
Picture: The loughs in the centre of the ridge.
Try To Walk The Whole Ridge
by Aidy 19 Apr 2017
I started at B (C247 336) and followed the good quality track up to the loughs in the centre of the ridge, then headed south west to the summit. The views there are stunning, taking in the sea channels on either side of the Fanad Peninsula, and across to the Rosguill Peninsula and beyond too. After visiting the summit, it is worth walking to the other high point on the north east end of the ridge for the views over the two loughs on the ridge itself, and also new views over to Inishowen, and down on the nearby beach at Portsalon. Even after this extension to the walk, there will be time to take in other nearby hills. Linkback:
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British summit data courtesy:
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