Sli na Finne
Start/End Points: Fintown (OSI Map 11 & 6, Grid ref: B927 024) Loop walk
Access: Fintown is accessible by local bus services and parking is available in town for those with their own transport.
Hike Distance: 51km
Time to complete hike: 2-3 Days - More often than not this hike will be completed over 2 days, but this will be dependent on the individual themselves. Accommodation is limited in the area, therefore this can sometimes dictate the length of time allocated by hikers to complete the route.
Difficulty level of Hike: Moderate. As with most lowland hikes in Donegal, a mixture of ascents and descents can be expected (1160m total height gain and loss for complete hike). This hike in particular can be taxing underfoot as the off road/track sections can be significantly boggy underfoot (Decent pair of gaiters advised). Being one of the less travelled of the Sli Dhun na nGall hikes, parts of the route can be overgrown so it is important to have the appropriate maps and navigational aids.
Accommodation: With accommodation options being limited in both Cloghan, Fintown and surrounding areas of the route, wild camping may be an option for hikers. Ground can be wet in places so finding an appropriate area may be difficult (Remember it is important to seek landowners permission).
Accommodation options do exist so have a look at the accommodation section of the site and plan your route with this in mind.
Notable features and additional info: Beginning in the village of Fintown, this hike starts overlooking the stunning Lough Finn. Fintown boasts one of the few remaining visible remnants of the old Donegal railway line stretching for 5km along the lough.
The majority of hikers will complete this route in a clockwise direction heading for the village of Cloghan on their first day. The first stage of this route is a mixture of regional roads, country lanes, forestry tracks and wet/boggy farmland. Even in the heart of the summer months, ground underfoot can be very wet in places so be prepared for a slog and have gaiters to hand.
The route is marked with yellow way markers, but some sections of the hike can be overgrown due to lack of use. It is important to have a map at hand and be able to navigate your way through these sections, particularly if conditions are bad.
The River Finn is evident in many sections of the hike as it meanders its way through the stunning Finn Valley. As you come towards the end of the hike, there are a number of forested sections before a relatively gentle climb up towards Scraigs mountain. You will then descend back to your starting point with a stunning view of Lough Finn to welcome you.
Appropriate hiking footwear and clothing is advised, weather is very changeable in Ireland so wet gear should also be at hand. Be sure to pack sufficient food and water for each leg of your hike and have the necessary navigational aids including appropriate maps (OSI Map 10) and compass. Spare clothing and emergency contact numbers are also advisable. Midges are a problem in Donegal during the summer months so it will likely be necessary to have the appropriate spray/cream at hand. More Info