During our Ireland road trip over the Easter break this year, we had panned to visit Kilwatermoy, a small place that Josh lived as a child in the 1990s. Our trip down memory lane only took the morning, so that afternoon, we headed off for the Mahon Falls in search of The Magic Road, a place that Josh had visited as a teenager where the optical illusion of the surrounding scenery makes you believe that the road goes uphill, when in fact it’s downhill and you can test this yourself, by releasing the handbrake of your car and seeing if it rolls. It’s a bit harder to find than we planned, so off we headed to see if it was truly magic.
Through a lucky find on my phone, we were able to determine that the road was near the Mahon Falls and taking the road (just past Power’s Store on the R676 to those on this blog genuinely looking for directions!) and then following signs for The Falls on the right for a road that looped north and then south again would lead to a section that contained the “Magic Road”.
The drive up to the Mahon Falls certainly was glorious and although we didn’t have the best weather, the thick skies gave the mountains a formidable colour. It’s an 80m waterfall nestled in the Comeragh Mountains and has a car park nearby for those that want to explore on foot, although alas we had another mission…
So upwards we drove, climbing the hillside and all the time looking out for a section of road with one tree on it. Once you saw that, you’d know you were on The Magic Road. We actually drove past the tree and the sign at first. For some reason I was expecting there to be a queue of cars testing the theory or taking pictures – a bit like you would see a queue of tourists waiting to cross the zebra crossing outside of Abbey Road Studios in London. So we drove back and stopped next to the tree where a kind soul had erected the sign that you see at the top of this post. The “tree” was in fact some sort of rag on a stick design, but we couldn’t deny that we were in the right place now and there were no other cars around, so we could pull up the hill and roll down it (if it worked) as much as liked!
So we tuned the engine off and released the handbrake and low and behold, the car began to roll “up” this hill you can see in the picture below, from left to right. Admittedly, it’s not the super-steep incline I was hoping for and the roll was quite gentle, but it was strange how it seemed pretty level and yet we were rolling quite quickly.
You can see what we did a bit more in the video below and don’t forget to comment if you’ve been to The Magic Road or any other gravity hill. We’d love to hear what you thought!