Distance 4.3 miles, (6.9 km) climb 460 metres
Start in main car park, Sl Gullion Forest Park.
Take a left turn uphill at the exit end of the main car park, along the forest drive road. When the road goes left round a hairpin bend, cut the corner steeply uphill. Then follow the road round until the corner where it goes left uphill, with a forest track going off at the corner.
Take the forest track, going round the barrier, then slight descent and undulating track for ¼ mile. Then take the left fork, going uphill, with much less dense forest on either side. Enter thicker forest again with the track crossing a stream and wall boundary and then turning left. The track gets more rutted and then stops at another wall boundary. Continue straight ahead on vague path in grass through trees to cross a ditch, bear right and aim East for the edge of the trees. (GR 032 209)
From the tree edge, on bearing of about 300 MN climb on grass slopes to fence with gap in it. Actually there is a barbed wire strand across the top! Through the gap bear right on heather to a broken fence going West. There is a good path on the right of the fence – follow this uphill, with a small valley just before reaching the summit plateau with the lake out to the right. There is an isolated fence pole on the summit North-south path, checkpoint 1 (and 3 on the return leg). (GR 023 209)
Turn South along the summit path, indistinct at first and cut up nearer the summit of Sl Gullion, seen from a distance with its cairn, a trip point and marker post (checkpoint 2). (GR 025 203)
Return along the same route. In mist going North along the ridge watch out for checkpoint 3 at the lone fence pole where you turn right. If you get to the lake you have gone too far. Pick up the fence on the descent. When you can see the forest ahead and to the right, cut off the corner and aim for the barbed wire fence gap. Then aim for the centre of three gaps in the forest, on bearing about 116 MN.
Enter the forest, bearing right at a fallen tree, cross the ditch and pick up the path joining the end of the forest track. Follow the fast track back to join the forest drive road, then turn left back to the main car park.
To get to the start:
Either right through Newry to the roundabout with new overpass, taking the right turn to Meigh. Then through Meigh and in about a mile turn right at the Slieve Gullion Forest Park sign.
Or take the road off the Newry bypass to Camlough. Then turn left in Camlough to Meigh going parallel to Sl Gullion on your right. In Meigh turn right on the B113 and then right in about a mile at the Sl Gullion Forest Park sign. If you miss the left turn in Camlough, the Sl Gullion Forest Park signs will take you all the way round Sl Gullion!