Irish experts warn Google Maps by ordering walkers to take dangerous routes when hiking to popular social media spots
EXPERTS warn that Google Maps is tricking walkers to take dangerous routes when hiking to popular spots on social media.
The site directs hikers up an “extremely steep” slope to Diarmuid and Grainne’s Cave, Co Sligo, where they can get stuck.
Mountaineering specialists say the place is not suitable for walkers without the proper shoes, skills and experience to take care of themselves in difficult terrain.
Earlier this year, a big rescue was launched for a young couple who visited the beauty site after their social media trend.
A 27-year-old Spanish woman was rescued but her boyfriend, who was from the United States in his mid-20s, died after falling from 200m.
Helen Lawless from Mountaineering Ireland, said: “The slope may seem harmless as it is mostly grassy, but it gets steeper as you go up so some people become unable to go down.
Lawless also highlighted the impact of Google Maps on residents and landowners in areas becoming popular on apps like TikTok.
She said: “Cuilcagh Mountain between Cavan and Fermanagh has become a social media sensation in recent years. People traveling to Cuilcagh from certain directions are directed to a cul-de-sac near Glangevlin where there is no parking, resulting in traffic jams.
“Although this may be the closest point to the mountain on the public road, the main starting point is on the north side of the mountain, about a half hour drive away. I know that one of the people involved in running Cuilcagh has tried several times to get the Google pin removed from the top of Cuilcagh, but it’s still there.
Mountaineering Ireland has produced tips for hikers in Ireland. See mountaineering.ie.
A Google spokesperson said: “We have investigated the posted locations and confirmed that our navigation instructions are not leading people on dangerous roads.
“The dotted gray arc at the end of the navigation is not a walking route, but rather a way of showing people how far they are from the destination when the roads cannot take them to the end. “