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A Guide To The Cloughmore Stone Trail With Kodak Corner

A Guide To The Cloughmore Stone Trail With Kodak Corner

Kodak Corner in Rostrevor is one of the highlights of the Cloughmore Stone Trail.

The trail, which takes you through Kilbroney Park, is unbeatable on a fine day as it treats you to stunning views of the surrounding mountains, lough and countryside.

Below, you’ll find info on parking, the trail and some other handy info. Dive on in!

Some quick need-to-knows about the Cloughmore Stone walk

Cloughmore Stone

© Tourism Ireland photographed by Brian Morrison

Before you shoulder your backpack and tie up your boots, let’s take a look over the basics. 

1. Location

The trailhead is in Kilbroney Park, a magical wonderland that encompasses lakes, forest, an arboretum, and much more. The nearest village is Rostrevor, County Down, which sits on the banks of Carlingford Lough and is about 50 miles south of Belfast. 

2. Parking

There are two car parks at Kilbroney, the main car park near the cafe, and the upper car park. For this walk, you’ll want the upper car park. This is accessed by entering the forest and following the tarmac road uphill for about 2 miles. From the car park, there are three signed walking trails to choose from.

3. Opening hours

Kilbroney Park is open daily; November to March 9 am until 5 pm, April 9 am to 7 pm, May 9 am to 9 pm, June to September 9 am to 10 pm, and October 9 am to 7 pm.

4. Kodak Corner

Kodak Corner is one of the highlights of this trail. From the Cloughmore Stone, the trail skirts the edge of the forest for around 15-20 minutes until the breathtaking views open up. Overlooking Carlingford Lough as it spills into the sea, as well as Warrenpoint and its green surroundings, it’s an ideal spot for a picnic.

5. Cafe and toilets

The Synge & Byrne Cafe at Kilbroney Park is a handy place to grab refreshments after completing the hike. They serve up a smashing cup of coffee, as well as an extensive breakfast and lunch menu and some tasty pastries and other baked goods. Open from 9 am to 5 pm, it’s a top spot for either a light or hearty feed.

About The Cloughmore Stone

Cloughmore walk

© Chris Hill Photographic via Ireland’s Content Pool

Known locally as the ‘big stone’, the Cloughmore Stone is an immense granite boulder. It weighs in at around 50 tonnes and is perched atop the mountainside, almost 1,000 feet (300 metres) above the village of Rostrevor.

How it got there is a conundrum, though there are two main theories. We’ll leave it up to you to decide which you believe!

The Legend

Local folklore has it that the stone was hurled across Carlingford Lough from the Cooley Mountains by the legendary Finn McCool in an epic battle with a Scottish giant.

In retaliation, the Scottish Giant is said to have flung back a gargantuan handful of earth. The wind must’ve taken it though, as it landed in the sea to become the Isle of Man.

The divot left behind filled up with water, forming Lough Neagh.

The Science

The scientific explanation sees the gigantic rock travelling far further than across Carlingford Lough.

Indeed, it’s believed that the Cloughmore Stone, which is classified as a glacial erratic — a type of rock that differs from the native rock in the area it dwells — came over from Scotland about 10,000 years ago.

At the end of the last ice age, as the glacial ice retreated, the foreign boulder was left behind.

An Overview of the Cloughmore Stone Walk (including Kodak Corner)

Kodak Corner

Photos via Shutterstock

This circular walk takes in some beautiful forest scenery, as well as mountain and lake views. It’s generally considered moderate, with some steep inclines and narrow, sometimes rough, paths.

Despite this, it’s more than manageable if you’re in reasonable health and it’s a great challenge.

The Start

The route starts at the upper carpark, where you’ll find a map that details the three official trails and their respective way-markers.

Head for the gate and take the somewhat steep, uphill gravel trail. Follow this along, checking out the various viewpoints and noting the way-markers one, two, and three as you go.

The Big Stone

When you reach way-marker number three, you’ve arrived at the stone, not that you can miss it really, it’s pretty hefty. This wide open area is great for taking in the scenery and a popular spot for photoshoots.

From here, you can either continue to follow the official route by following the way-markers 4 – 22, passing Fiddler’s Green viewpoint and the cafe as you go. However, we recommend a slight detour.

Kodak Corner

As you face the big stone, you’ll notice a smaller track heading off towards Carlingford Lough. It takes you uphill, dipping into the forest before opening up to reveal some of the best views in Northern Ireland.

It typically takes about ten to fifteen minutes to reach Kodak Corner, and it’s a top spot for picnics. Take care, as this path is also a popular mountain biking route.

Heading Back

From here you have three choices. You can head back to the car park the way you came, return to the official path, or continue on for an unofficial loop.

When we were there last, we followed the path past Kodak Corner. The trail soon takes a sharp left turn, heading uphill against the fence line towards Slieve Martin, which you can identify by the iconic mast at the summit.

From here, you can either follow the river glen right back to the car park or take the zig-zagging forest road to the right which will lead to the same place.

Things to do near Cloughmore Stone

One of the beauties of Kodak Corner in Rostrevor is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Down.

Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Cloughmore Stone (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).

1. The Mourne Mountains (25-minute drive)

Mourne Mountains

Photos via Shutterstock

The impressive Mourne Mountains are a must for walking enthusiasts. You’ll find a wealth of trails negotiating the slopes and foothills, with a number of summit climbs and ridge walks to indulge in. Slieve Donard is the tallest mountain in Northern Ireland and scaling its summit is a tough yet ultimately rewarding endeavour. The views from the top are not to be missed.

2. Tollymore Forest Park (25-minute drive)

Tollymore Forest Park

Photos via Shutterstock

A magical wonderland of rugged natural beauty, Tollymore Forest Park is a must see if you’re in the area. It’s home to four walking trails, amazing wildlife, gorgeous scenery, and a number of curious attractions. From stunning stone bridges to ancient cairns to breathtaking viewpoints, there’s no end of sights to see. Fortunately, you can also camp there so you can take time to get to know the area!

3. Silent Valley Reservoir (30-minute drive)

Silent Valley Reservoir

Photos via Shutterstock

The Silent Valley Reservoir lives up to its name, offering sublime peace and tranquillity. Ringed by the Mourne Mountains, it boasts amazing scenery that merges with the immense feat of engineering that gave life to the dam and reservoir. With a fascinating history to go with the breathtaking scenery, it’s a great place to check out.

FAQs about Kodak Corner walk

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Where’s the parking?’ to ‘When is it open?’.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

What is the Cloughmore stone?

The Cloughmore Stone is a massive boulder that sits at a stunning viewpoint in Rostrevor. It’s sat at a height of 1,000 feet and is located inside Kilbroney Park.

How long to climb to Cloughmore Stone?

The walk from the lowe car park will take you between 25 and 30 minutes. The walk from the upper car park takes around 10 minutes.

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