At the top of the mountain there is one of the most scenic spots upon Carlow’s Mount Leinster, it is a place called ‘The Nine Stones‘.
The Nine Stones Viewing Point provides an unrivalled vista of the rich and colourful Carlow countryside spread out like a tapestry before you. Eight counties can be viewed from this spot – Carlow, Laois, Kildare, Wicklow, Wexford, Waterford, Kilkenny, the mountains of Tipperary, and on a clear day the coast of Wales, to the east.
On the lower side of the road, you will see an alignment of nine small stones in the ground. The stones are arranged in a straight line and are about 50 cm high. The origins of the Stones are uncertain, but these are said to commemorate nine shepherds lost on Mount Leinster in some distant winter storm, hence the origin of the viewing point’s name.
The Nine Stones and the car park lie on the saddle between Mount Leinster and the nearby Slievebawn. It is surrounded by vast expanses of forest, owned by Coillte, Ireland’s commercial forestry company, dominated by spruce, larch and fir, also on the north-eastern slopes of Mount Leinster. Part of the steep slopes are covered with dense heather (protected area).
This area forms part of the South Leinster Way long distance walking route, a 102 km (64 miles) walk which runs from Kildavin in County Carlow to Carrick-on-Suir in County Tipperary. The area features some of the best walks in the county including the Kilbrannish Forest Recreation Area. Situated 3km (2 miles) from this viewing point at the Nine Stones, immediately adjacent to the Mount Leinster Heritage Drive on the Bunclody Road, the forest offers 2 looped walks (3 kilometres (2 miles) and 5 kilometres (3 miles). Ample car parking, together with picnic facilities and a map of each route are provided.
Stunning views, well worth a visit. The Nine Stones Viewing Point at Mount Leinster is another Must visit place in County Carlow.
Location of The Nine Stones Viewing Point:
Below my photos taken in August 2021.