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Hiking Coumshingaun Lough in County Waterford, Ireland

If you’re reading this article, you are probably looking for your next adventure in county Waterford, Ireland, and you want to know where is the amazing Coumshingaun Lough and how to hike it. This guide will give you all the information about the Coumshingaun Lake Walk including tips and insights on where to sleep and what to do in the area. If you’re planning a hiking trip to Ireland or you have been based n Ireland and are looking for a spectacular hike that offers spectacular views, then keep reading to discover everything about Coumshingaun Lake.

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Before reading the Coumshingaun Lough walk guide, have a look at our guide on traveling to Ireland for more information and the best itineraries.

Where is Coumshingaun Lough located?

Coumshingaun Lough is located in the beautiful Comeragh Mountains. The parking lot is easily reachable in 20 minutes from Dungarvan, 30 minutes from Clonmel (County Tipperary), and 35 minutes from Waterford City.

How hard is Coumshingaun Lough Loop?

The Coumshingaun hike is not one of the most straightforward and easy hikes in Ireland; it’s in fact considered, and it is indeed, hard at a point that in some places it also gets very challenging. You need to scramble over some rocks, hence you need to be fitness-ready, wear good hiking boots, and having a sense of direction because in some areas it is easy to get lost. This isn’t a walk for inexperienced hikers, nor one to be taken lightly.

How long does it take to complete it?

The Coumshingaun Loop hike takes between 4 and 5 hours to be completed if you’re fit and well equipped. Some people finish it in less time, others in more than 5 hours: this is not a hike meant to be rushed, instead it is a walk/hike to enjoy, especially after the climb.

Where’s the starting point of the hike?

The Coumshingaun Lough car park is the best place to start your hike and you can simply type the name into Google Maps to get the exact location: the car park is not big and at weekends it can get packed not only with people hiking up to the top but also with people going to enjoy the lake from the bottom. It’s advisable to arrive on location quite early in the morning but do not worry: if you can’t find a parking space in the cart park, there are plenty of options in the proximities and you won’t spend hours looking for a place where to park.

What’s the best way to arrive at the starting point?

The best way to arrive at Kilclooney Wood Car Park is by car. Despite a favorable location, the Comeragh Mountains are not easy to reach if you don’t have a car with you. We highly recommend you rent a car for your trip to Ireland to enjoy the country at its best.

Read our article on renting a car in Ireland and find the best rates.

What’s the best way to tackle the hike?

You can do this trail clockwise or anti-clockwise. The majority of the people follow the trail clockwise because it includes parts that can be steep and tricky and are best to be done going up and not going down. We did the trail anti-clockwise and I can confirm it is harder because you have a hard hike/climb and a very tough descend; furthermore, way fewer people go up following the trail anti-clockwise so you really need to have a good sense of orientation otherwise it’s easy to get lost.

Coumshingaun Lough Loop Map

Nb: the yellow dot indicates the clockwise trail, the most trafficked one. Make sure you head towards your left when at the junction otherwise you will end up doing the Coumshingaun loop anti-clockwise.

Is the hike scary?

No, the walk is not scary but we’re talking about a lake inside a basin and this means walking on the banks of the cliffs that fall overhanging without any protection. The terrain is often muddy and you need to be diligent and careful. It is definitely not a suitable hike for those suffering from vertigo.

What’s the best time of the year to do the Coumshingaun Lough hike?

The Coumshingaun Lough hike is virtually doable all year long. Realistically, you can really have a nice and fun adventure between the month of May and the month of September. The Irish weather is totally unpredictable, so you may end up getting soaked in June and having an amazing and sunny day in October. In wintertime, snow is not rare and so it’s the ice; giving the location of the lake and the cliffs, it’s not really recommended to venture in winter.

Can you go at the bottom of the lake?

Once you’ve finished your hike you can go back to the parking lot or have some rest at the shores of the lake. Just descend and you’ll find a path that will bring you directly to the lake. If you’re brave enough, finish the loop with a swim in the Lough for an unforgettable experience; the glacial water is frozen, we only dipped our toes and it was insane.

Where sleep to hike Coumshingaun Lough

Coumshingaun Lough is strategically located between three places that you can use as a base for your trip, Dungarvan, Waterford, and Clonmel. There are many accommodations in the area, but if you’re looking for a quiet place where you can relax, stay in touch with nature, and enjoy good food and a great familiar atmosphere, I recommend you check Hotel Minella in Clonmel. Minella has been opened in an original Georgian house built in 1863 and offers a wide range of rooms and suites to cater to couples, families, and groups of all sizes. Guests have access to the pool and the SPA that are two great amenities to use after a long day up to the mountains. It is possible to dine in at the restaurant or at the bar and the food is one of the pieces of resistance of this place: local and seasonal ingredients are used to create dishes that are tasty and promote the very best of Irish produce. The dessert menu is among the best I’ve ever seen and enjoy a pint of Guinness or a glass of wine in the garden on a sunny evening is just the finishing touch for your experience. From Hotel Minella you can also walk along the Suir Blueway, a 53 km trail that is also home to various water activities and will allow you to discover some really interesting places from Cahir to Carrick-on-Suir.

Coumshingaun Loop Hike: FAQ

How do you get to Coumshingaun Lake?

The hike up to Lake Coumshingaun starts at Kilclooney Wood Car Park on the R676. The walk passes through a small but beautiful forest before going straight up into the mountain.

Can you swim in Coumshingaun Lake?

You can swim in Coumshingaun Lough but bear in mind that the water is freezing, and in summer, it may be full of bugs and flyers. If you’re brave enough, a swim in Coumshingaun Lake is certainly an experience!

How long is the Coumshingaun loop?

Coumshingaun Lough Loop is a 7,5 Km loop trail located in County Waterford and rated as difficult. It takes
at least 4 hours to complete the loop.

Is hiking the Coumshingaun dangerous?

This hike is not recommended for beginners and people suffering from vertigo. Also, some places can be dangerous because of loose shale and gravel, and the sheer drops drastically into the basin below, making this place stunning but not one to take lightly. It’s also worth noticing that the terrain is almost always muddy, and it’s imperative to pay attention to the trail to avoid slipping and falling.

Travel to Ireland: a few resources for you

If you’re planning to book a giveaway to Ireland, these are a few resources we recommend:

Best Ireland Travel Guides

If you want to plan your trip to Ireland, these are the travel guides we recommend:

Get in touch with us for customized tours, travel tips, itineraries, and everything you need for your trip to Ireland: no one better than those who live on-site can advise you and make you experience Ireland like a real local.

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About the author
Veruska Anconitano
Veruska is a freelance content marketer and digital strategist. She's an accredited journalist, a member of the British Guild of Travel Writer, and a certified sommelier. She's the co-owner of TheFoodellers and a bunch of other websites.
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