10.45am at Mynt.
12.30pm at Roe Valley County Park (Dog Leap Centre)
Distance: 3/5miles mostly on the level depending on which walk you wish to take. Refreshments are available in the cafe at the Centre.
This walk is ideal for initiation into Out & About: bring your friends and family!
Google link for Dog Leap Centre: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode&q=Dog+Leap+Centre+Limavady&sll=37.0625%2C-95.677068&sspn=48.77566%2C78.837891&ie=UTF8&hq=Dog+Leap+Centre&hnear=Limavady%2C+UK&ll=55.021626%2C-6.948509&spn=0.067016%2C0.15398&z=13
The Roe Valley Country Park is an interesting place, and very beautiful indeed. The park occupies a narrow strip of land on both sides of the River Roe. The river has had an interesting role to play over the past 6 centuries in shaping the linen industry of the area, though on a small scale, compared with places like Upperlands. And the industry declined here earlier, presumably with competition from larger mills. All along this river are remnants of its industrial past, mills, watch huts, mill races, weirs and evidence of water power changing to steam. As if that was insufficient use of the river in times past, it was also the site of the first hydroelectric plant in N Ireland, supplying electric power to nearby Limavady. Very fashionable in these times as it turns out!
We will assemble in the car park near the Dog Leap Centre, to walk along the western bank of the river. There is a lot to observe, both about the vegetation and the remnants of buildings and mill races. The river is slow flowing in places and goes through mini rapids in others. As we walk further along upstream, the river runs through a deep gorge, and we will cross the river over a footbridge, climbing up the side of the gorge on the eastern side of the Roe to reach Carrick Parish Church. It seems so remote, perched on the side of the tree lined gorge.
We will descend down the side of the gorge from the ancient churchyard to the sandy shore of the Roe. It is a short walk back to the Dog Leap Centre, The Centre had clean toilets, a visitor centre which was closed last year for redecoration and a restaurant of which we availed last year for sustenance before returning home.