Over the Christmas and New Year period , and with the shorter days , the West Tyrone Ramblers have remained in their heartland for their outings The last walk before Christmas was a tough five mile trek over very very wet Sperrin bogland on the hills around Glenlark Then the Gortin Glens were explored including the Ladies View trial

For the first Saturday outing of the year 24 ramblers on January 9th headed to Lough Braden Forest near Drumquin .Parking near the waterworks treatment plant the group walked 2 loops totaling 7 miles. The longer morning loop included a part of the waymarked Ulster Way. The Group then turned off this track onto another one which gave them views of Lough Lack. They then walked basically in a square before lunching back at the cars.

The afternoon loop was around Lough Braden itself. Earlier in the day the walk leader had told the story of early in the 1800’s when two local men were passing the Lough on their way to the fair at nearby Pettigo just before daybreak. As they passed along the edge of the lough , two creatures with long necks rose up from the water. The creatures appeared to eat some vegetation along the shore until they sensed the presence of the two men and then promptly disappeared Despite looking carefully the Ramblers failed to spot the long necked creatures