The future of one of Donegal’s most famous coastal walkways is under threat after a local landowner pulled out of an agreement to allow people to use it.
The internationally renowned McSwyne’s Gun Loop Walk over Horn Head in Dunfanaghy brings tourists form across Europe to walk its 10km route.
But its future has been thrown into doubt this week as difficulties with access for the public have emerged.
It had been hoped to have it extended in the future as its popularity grew.
The promoters of this highly popular walking trail said they are reluctant to go into the details of the problem that has now arisen.
However they have confirmed to the Tirconail Tribune that a ‘specific difficulty’ has arisen and if not fully resolved very soon, they will be forced to abandon the trail since an issue of access has created a major obstacle.
The local community in Dunfanaghy and Horn Head who raised the issue are reluctant to be more specific about the nature of the access problem.
But they did confirm that not all land owners had signed up to the five year lease arrangement.
The walk is seen as an important tourism asset and according to the community it attracts a huge number of visitors and many continental tourists are attracted through international publicity of the site.
McSwyne’s trail is described as a moderate walk and can take around two and a half hours to complete.
The Loop Walk traverses open headland with deep cliffs, gullies and large blowholes along the trail.
Walkers assemble at the Haggard Bridge just beyond the GAA grounds.
The peninsula forms part of Sheephaven Bay and has many remains of Neolithic stone circles, court tombs and passage tombs and prehistoric field boundaries.
Horn Head cliffs rise straight out of the water to a height of almost six hundred feet on the ocean side of the peninsula.
They are an internationally important colony for breeding seabirds and designated a Special Area of Conservation. McSwyne’s Gun is a blowhole on the West side of the peninsula.
During storms, water gets forced through it to a height of 200-300 feet, with a noise that can be heard ten miles away.
These are the attributes that makes the walk a compelling journey, says the local community who now fear that it may have to be abandoned unless a solution to the access problem is found.Tags: