We are privileged in Donegal to have at our back door, beautiful mountain ranges, vast rolling hills, environmentally friendly forests and beach treks.
Donegal’s scenery has so often been described as breathtaking and unequalled in solitude and the beauty of nature at it’s best. From the towering cliffs of Sliabh Liag to the offshore islands of Tory, Gola and Arranmore you could easily spend days trekking these and be at ‘one with yourself’ or in the company of friends.
The Bluestack Ramblers are a very active walking club founded 20 years ago, still going strong, and at 8pm on Saturday 30th May host a mammoth ‘birthday bash’ in O’Neill’s Pub Letterbarrow, Donegal Town.
Members, past and present are invited to come along, meet, chat with old friends and reminisce on those shivering days spent on Sliabh Liag or Carnaween.
With current membership at approx 60, each Sunday throughout the year sees an average of about 20-30 gather at pre-selected venues to embark on the day’s excursion into the surrounding countryside.
The walks are varied, following the banks of local rivers, while others follow beaches, narrow roads, forest walks and hill treks not only in Donegal but also Sligo, Leitrim and Down.
There are also organised hikes over the mountains for the more experienced walkers. The club caters for all, including first timers who have to sample the social delights and increased fitness levels that this pastime offers.
The Club itself is non profit with a totally social outlook, whose only interests are the camaraderie with members and promotion of the beauty of Donegal and the enjoyment of its mountains, walking areas, and flora and fauna.
It currently enjoys a good rapport with most Co Donegal landowners for which it is grateful and indeed has shown assistance to these generous landowners in every way possible.
Assistance in the past has also been given to the Gardai and Donegal Mountain Rescue whenever possible in hill and mountain search and rescue operations.
Since its inception the club has stressed to members that on walks the ‘Country Code’ must be rigidly adhered to. All landowners are to be asked for permission to walk their lands. Respect must be shown at all times to private property, gates, fences, farmland, the environment and the people who live and work there.
Dogs are not allowed to accompany walkers. Absolutely no litter is left on walks, the only thing left behind are the club’s footprints. With each walk a qualified leader and back up person accompanies the walkers and club rules are strictly adhered to.
If you are considering joining the Ramblers on a Sunday, in Donegal Town they usually meet and will gladly welcome you at the Tourist Office (Discover Ireland) at the pier area at 10am.
For those contemplating attending the party night on May 30th, tickets are €10 which enables the management of numbers for the catering. Hot food, salads desert and a glass of wine are included in
Tickets are available from club leaders Paddy Meehan 086 6014386, Eileen McGonigle 086 8443838, Michael McGarrigle 086 8627605, Ann Leonard 087 7844803, Kathleen Friel 087 9777554.