One of the wonderful things about Ireland and Northern Ireland is its appreciation for the outdoors. There are hundreds of places to hike, both on public land and through private land on public right-of-ways. Hikers are everywhere in Ireland as the Irish enjoy their walking.
I had the opportunity to hike to the Cloughmore Stone (pronounced Clockmore), atop a hill high about the village of Rostrevor. Legend has it that Finn McCool (Fionn mac Cumhaill in Irish) a giant mythical warrior, threw the 40-ton stone at the giant Ruscaire from across Carlingford Lough. For a better explanation of the legend go here: http://www.carlingfordandmourne.com/myths-and-legends/finn-mccool-and-the-cloughmore-carlingford-and-rostrevor
To get to the stone, you can park at Kilbroney Park in Rostrevor and hike up the entire mountain and parking in the park’s car lot or drive halfway up the mountain to another parking lot and hike the rest of the way. Guess which one I did? It was about a 20 minute hike up to the rock from the second option, but one you are there a many hiking and mountain biking paths that take you farther into the wilderness. The views of Carlingford Lough, Rostrevor and Warrenpoint (another nearby town) were stunning. I spent about 45 minutes just taking in the scenery.
The place was not at all crowded either. I saw just seven people on my entire hike. Well it was a weekday afternoon in the middle of May. I imagine it gets more crowded in July and August. It also gets crowded on Easter Sunday when local residents make the hike to the stone and roll their Easter eggs down the mountain.