The Blackstairs form an integral part of Ireland’s heritage. Its natural cover harboured many rebels during the 1798 Rebellion, the bloodiest conflict in Ireland’s modern Irish history. The highest peak is Mount Leinster (795m), dominating the surrounding skyline. The name Leinster comes from the Irish Laighin, the ancient name of the province whose king was buried beneath a cairn here before the time of Christ. The Blackstairs mountain is the second highest peak. A metal cross
The Blackstairs mountain is the second highest peak. A metal cross 30m to the east of the summit marks the spot of two fatal aeroplane crashes – a German bomber in 1941 and a Cessna 182 in 1983. Natural heritage
The mountains are of a granite core and rounded peat-covered uplands. Here, two rock types collide – granite and slate rock – and produce a unique landscape. The slate makes its most dramatic appearance on the southern ridge of the mountain range where it emerges dramatically to form a horn back-type ridge known as Cahir Rua’s Den. Just less than one-fifth (17%) of Ireland’s total dry heath is found here, along with smaller portions of wet heath. Ling heather is predominant but you will also find mat-grass, crowberry, bilberry, bell heather, crossleaved heath, common bent, heath bedstraw and several moss species. Notable plant species include the rare bird’s-foot and cranberry, which is scarce in County Wexford.
Bird species include golden plover, hen harrier, merlin, peregrine falcon and declining numbers of red grouse. Wheatear and stonechat breed here, while kestrels hunt over the mountains. Look out for Irish hares, foxes, badgers, stoat, Sika deer and small herds of feral goat.
Enjoy your walk!