Not far from Baltimore is the beautiful Lough Hyne with the lush forest of Knockomagh Hill set behind it. The lough is a marine lake. That just means that it is connected to the sea but has a lower salt content because some of the water is rainwater (I didn’t know what a marine lake was until right now).
The lake probably was a fresh water lake once but was flooded with salty sea water when the sea levels rose (about 4000 years ago – not recently, don’t panic). This spot was chosen to be a Marine Nature Reserve back in 1981; Ireland’s first. Apparently the uniqueness of the marine lake combined with its small size means that the lake is quite warm and is a great place for many plants and animals to live and grow.
In the middle of the lake are two islands. One of them, Castle Island, is named after the ruins of Cloghan Castle which are still visible there. Other ruins nearby are those of Saint Brigit’s Church on the shore of the lake. We didn’t get to explore the ruins or edges of the lake area this time but we did enjoy the beautiful forest dotted with bluebells!