The Hare’s Gap is the most dramatic mountain pass in the Mournes. Its sharply defined outlines indicate that ice once passed this way: using the Gap’s convenient north-south alignment to advance and retreat over the entire Mournes range. In more recent times the Hare’s Gap marked the exit point for smuggled goods which had crossed the hills from the coast along the Brandy Pad. The contraband (which included soap, leather, spices and coffee) was carried through the mountains on the backs of small ponies which descended by the Hare’s Gap to the valley of the Trassey River and on to Hilltown (a favourite distribution centre). Nowadays, the Gap’s easily reached central location on the rim of the High Mournes makes it a popular starting point for routes scaling adjoining peaks, or simply for a walk along the gentle contours of the Brandy Pad.