GLENARIFFE

     
Across glen to Lurigethan Misty crag Side of Lurigethan Lurigethan mountain

Glenariff is referred to as the 'Queen of the Glens' , it certainly is an impressive, large glen representing in geological terms a classic example of a U cut glacial valley - formed as the result of the melting ice cap some 10,000 years ago - the small village of Waterfoot lies at the mouth of the Glen. The upper part of the glen contains some excellent walks through the forest and down alongside  the river as it flows over several waterfalls - beside the main road near Kilmore is the impressive 'Mare's Tail' waterfall which drops hundreds of feet down the precipitous glen side. Across the glen you can make out a distinct line descending down to the shore - this once carried the Glenariff railway. It was built by the Glenariff Iron Ore and Harbour Company  to facilitate the extraction and shipment of  iron ore to furnaces in Scotland and England, the line was 4.5 mile long and descended from two hundred metres to a purpose built harbour facilities at Carrivemurphy - on completion in 1873 it became the first narrow gauge railway  in Ireland. The mines failed a few years later and  despite several attempt to rejuvenate it -  including one in 1880 by William Traill  of the Giants Causeway, Portrush & Bush Valley Tramway who tried  to connect the line with a three mile section that would join it to the Parkmore to Ballymena line  - the attempt failed as with others and the track was eventually lifted.

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