Don’t let my thrilling and nail-biting story of my hike up Diamond Hill Trail in Connemara National Park deter you. In peak conditions, the views are breathtaking and a can’t miss in the area as you will see in my article.
Connemara in my opinion will appeal most to those who love being immersed in nature and hiking. There are so many stunning hiking trails to take advantage of in Connemara National Park. Views on clear sunny days are rich in green, orange, and yellow rolling hills with the Twelve Bens and Atlantic Ocean as your backdrop. Some of my favorite trails on my bucketlist include The Maumeen Mountain Pass, The Errisbeg Trail, The Glencoaghan Horseshoe, Diamond Hill, Benbaun and Benfree, Letterbreckaun Mountain Climb, and many, many more. The trails are endless and you’ll never be disappointed. You could spend weeks here exploring different trails.
Pat and I tackled one of the more strenuous 7km hikes on a cold, foggy December day–Upper Diamond Hill Trail. You can choose the lower trail, which takes about 1 to 1.5 hours, or the upper trail, which takes about 3 hours. Now we should’ve known to turn around, it was a grey, foggy, windy, and misty day…but we kept seeing a ray of sunshine in the distance and kept thinking, maybe the weather will turn around! The winds are strong you never know. We were very wrong. In fact, as much as I enjoyed the thrill of hiking Upper Diamond Hill trail (an already strenuous hike with good conditions), I don’t recommend anyone hike it if the weather is not cooperating. It was definitely somewhat of a dangerous experience.
The start of the hike is very well paved with gravel footpaths and wooden boardwalks over bogs. But as you start to get closer to the top, the path begins to become more rugged, rocky, and slippery. The wind picked up, the mist started to turn into light rain droplets, visibility dropped to 10 feet and well…it felt like I was stepping into a scene from Lord of the Rings. It was terrifying. The wind picked up as we got closer to the peak to the point where it was blowing me away and the rocks began to get slippery, it was too dangerous to go beyond this point, it was best to turn back. The video below shows how far up we got and how terrible the conditions were.
We made our way quickly back down the mountain and the wind became bearable once again. We were sad we were not able to see the stunning view from Diamond Hill, but had to admit it was a thrilling and terrifying experience to think we could make it up there and see something! If reading this story has scared you from making the trip up the mountain, please don’t let this deter you. Like I said, we just happened to hike it when weather conditions picked up and got worst. If you hike it on a clear, sunny day, you have the opportunity to witness the beautiful and marvelous views of Connemara…Still don’t believe me? See below for what you can expect at Diamond Hill on a clear day. Now you know why I kept going and refused to turn around!
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