Arra Mountains Loop

County Tipperary
9 reviews
Grade Strenuous
Length 12.4 km
Am 6 hours
Format Loop
Ascent 682 m
Dogs Allowed No
Waymarking Green arrow on white background
Start Point
At Parking and Viewing Area at 'The Lookout' on R494 Castletown
Finish Point
At Parking and Viewing Area at 'The Lookout' on R494 Castletown
Nearest Town to Start Portroe
Grid Ref. R 735 810
Lat. and Long. 52.879292, -8.392795

This fine walk on tarmac roads, bog roads, farm tracks, purpose built gravel walking paths and through fields at the northern edge of the Sliabh Arra hills offers the opportunity for some realtively stenuous exercise rewarded with impressieve views of Lough Derg and the surrounding area.

Maps and other information


Car parking, pub, restaurant, shops

OSI Maps

OSI Maps

Discovery Series Sheet 59
9 trail reviews
Write your own review of this trail

The Rambling Troopers from Offaly

We did this trail today and found it great, it took us 5 hours plus but then we are out of practice and ageing. It is well sign posted and has a varied walking surface from tarmac to wooded trails, lots of ups and downs. The steps are a killer and the old timbers on these are being relaced at the moment. In fact when we were on our way down someone was after laying a few new ones already - on a May Bank Holiday , well done to you. Well worth doing and very quiet.

Joan Kenny from Limerick

Have been doing this trail for years & each year it gets worse due to lack of maintenance. Today it was like being in the jungle. What a shame as it is a lovely walk & a good workout. One needs to bring their own machete at this stage to make your way through from the Lookout to Millennium Cross!!!!

Joe O Brien from Cork

Absolutely scandalous that a beautiful trail like this has been abandoned by the Tipperary Co.Council. The horrible overgrown Ferns and Brambles at the ascent to the cross is the worst I’ve ever seen. In all fairness I can’t recommend this hike at the moment.

NOTE FROM SPORT IRELAND OUTDOORS: This trail is managed and maintained by the Tipperary Trails Group rather than Tipperary County Council.

Emily from Tipperary

Lovely loop. Fabulous views over Lough Derg on a clear day from Millenium Cross and Tountina. Very well signposted. Worth it for the views to Galway and Clare - Moylussa etc.

Deirdre from Tipperary

Unfortunately the first section of this trail is completely impassible - it's overgrown with brambles and furze - we spent 30 mins trying to get to the road section before abandoning the trail - such a pity as the car park at the lookout is very handy!

Laura from Waterford

I decided to do this trail after seeing the route map at the lookout saying 3-4 hours. Usually I’ll be an hour or more faster than the average time. Just as well I was carrying a head torch. Took me 4 hours 15. Had to run the downhills. Since saw this site says 6 hours!

The route is very well marked no problem with taking wrong turns. Starts off steep uphill, field may have cattle. Was well poc marked but none in the field at the time through a nice little tree lined avenue and more field until meeting the road. Downhill on the road until crossing to take the “steps” to the top. This was very well maintained it could be done in dry weather with trainers but would be slippery on the decent. Views from the cross were spectacular kind of reminded me of Torc and looking to the Killarney lakes. Terrain down to the graves of the Leinster men was nice relief after the steps. Up again to Tountinna again lovely scenery. The descent and return to the entrance to millennium cross appeared to go on forever! This is where I was questioning the time. Mixture of trail, road, lane. Pass the slate quarry. I was contemplating taking the road back to the lookout but am glad I didn’t. The return up to the cross was not too bad. The descent back down the steps takes concentration as said before slippery when legs are tired. You again get the views. All in all a well posted and maintained walk. I did it on my own and would recommend this. Phone signal all round and never too far from a road. I did it on a Tuesday in February didn’t meet a soul!

Margaret from Tipperary

Did this walk again last Saturday and was thrilled to see that the invasive furze and ferns have been cut back. Thank you to whoever is responsible for this. It is much appreciated. It really is a spectacular hike. The steps to the millenium cross are not for the feint hearted but worth it and then on up to Tountinna & Graves of the Leinster men. The Tipperary country side and the little hidden valley are lovely especially this time of the year. The views from the top across East Clare, Lough Derg & County Limerick are well worth the effort.

Margaret from Tipperary

This is a really great trail with a mix of steps and trails and road. The scenery is spectacular and it has been a favourite hike for sometime. I love to bring friends there as it is such a lovely hike. I hadn't been on the trail since April 14th of this year. I travelled with friends from Clare on Saturday last the 14th of July to introduce them to the trail. What a dissappointment. The climb up the steps to the Millenium Cross part is now actually dangerous as it is nearly overgrown. I'm not sure who is responsible for the maintenance of it but it has been neglected. I have another group of friends travelling from West Clare shortly but I would not dream of taking them up that part of the loop as there will be some children and it would be extremely dangerous for them. Hopefully someone will act quickly and cut back the invasive furze and ferns and briars before it is too late.

Jim from Cork

The information board at The Lookout gives a much shorter time for the walk than this site does which left me feeling pretty deflated towards the end as it took us just over 5 hours. It's a long walk with lots of ups and downs but with spectacular views over Lough Derg, the trail is well marked with wooden steps up most of Laghtea Hill, don't be fooled by them, they're pretty draining. As the day progressed the haze cleared giving us even better views. We took a slight detour towards the end to avoid the final climb up and around Castletown Hill and came back by the main road instead. I wouldn't recommend it, it's not the safest road for walking, keep to the trail!

Have you done this trail?
Tell us what you think