On this stunning Benwisken hike you will summit ‘The Frozen Wave’. Its known as this due to its unique and dramatic shape and is arguably the most exhilarating summit to stand upon in all of Sligo. Beginning our Benwiskin hike in the lowland blanket bog landscape our views are surrounded by a horseshoe of mountains towering above us. They invite us in as we make our way through the heathers and wildflower to the main climb of this hike which see’s us ascend to the main plateau of the Dartry Mountain range.
After roughly one hour of easy paced walking we arrive on top of the plateau where we are greeted with a panoramic view of the awe-inspiring sight that is the Gleniff Horseshoe, this majestic landscape was formed over ten thousand years ago by the forces of ice and glaciation. Towering high above the horseshoe our guides provide the background story of how this landscape was formed as well as the famous story of Diarmuid & Grainne, their famous hide out cave lays nearby as does the Glencarbury Mines, evidence of this human endeavour can be seen high up on the horseshoes headwall. Filling our eyes and minds here we turn and move on to the main object of the day, the summit of Benwisken.
Following a gentle uphill walk, we arrive at the summit where the landscape dramatically changes from level ground to the steep angle that form’s the amazing knife edge shape of the mountain. At times breath-taking and always heart raising, standing atop of Benwisken evokes a real sense of adventure and humility to the natural world, the sheer north face of the mountain invites the adventurous to peer over its dizzying heights while boasting coastline views spanning 4 counties from Donegal to Mayo.
To our back lays a less sudden but still impossibly steep slope that falls back down into the Gleniff Horseshoe, find your feet on the narrow summit and take in wider view back along our route to our first stop as well as views of the counties highest peak Truskmore, the waterways of Lough Melvin and beyond. The Benwiskin hike is definitely one for your Sligo hiking bucket list.