One sunny Saturday morning in June, we decided to visit the Knockmealdown Mountains and Blackwater Lake after a long time. If you read my other articles from time to time, these names probably tell you something, because I’ve mentioned them in the past – and now I’ll show you.
The Knockmealdown Mountains are located on the border of County Wateford and Tipperary as well as the Comeragh Mountains – they are the only two large mountains in County Waterford. In both cases, the highest points of these mountains are located in Wateford, where Knockmealdown holds the lead in terms of height.
Interestingly, both mountains have large lakes, just in the Comeragh mountains you can’t reach the lake other than on foot, but again you can climb the surrounding mountains and enjoy a truly amazing view (not only the valley, but also the city of Waterford, Tramore and Dungarvan). Knockmealdown may not have such a prospect (unless you want to wrestle with rhododendrons), but you can easily get there by car and walk to the lake itself in fifteen minutes.
I’ve been to Blackwater Lake several times and even in different weather – from wind, through rain and once we were caught in hail (but there was a rainbow!). But what was definitely from day one on my Blackwater list was a visit to the mountains during June and when it was beautiful (sun because I just wanted to enjoy it). And why in June? Because there are rhododendrons in the whole valley (not only around the lake) and they bloom only in June. Instead of greenery, it’s beautifully pink everywhere.
But if you can’t visit this place during June, then know that there is still something to look forward to – a lot of sheep graze around (and I definitely recommend driving carefully on the road, because they roam there as well), views of the lake or from it they are simply indescribable. Opposite the lake is a small viewpoint where you can park your car and enjoy. In addition to the lake and the valley, you can also notice other mountains – Galtymore on the border of County Tipperary and Limerick (this mountain range is not car friendly, so I have not been there yet). And if you love wandering in the mountains, there are also many trails that you can take and enjoy a day in nature.
Otherwise, you can get to Knockmealdown in two ways – from the south through the town of Lismore (highly recommended), drive to the lake and then take it via The Vee (there is also a view of the valley and Galtymores, if the lake is full) to Clonmel or vice versa, if you are currently inland. If you’ve ever been here, either before or after reading my article, let me (and others) know in the comments how you liked it!