There are some wonderful walks in Kerry – through forests, up mountains and along beaches – so every weekend we’ll try and get out, exploring new ones or returning to old favourites.
Here are our current top four – each of them looped, under two hours and either on Caragh Lake or a short drive away.
We love Lickeen for the variety it has to offer.
We usually park a bit before Blackstone’s Bridge, at the forest entrance and take the path in, along the Kerry Way, up to the viewing spot. From here we soak up the sights – the Reeks in the distance and the Upper Caragh making its way down to Caragh Lake on the other side.
It’s then a downhill stroll until you get to a small road where you turn left and then right into an open area of brush land. We then follow the path towards the Upper Caragh and walk along the banks, past the fishing huts, towards Blackstone’s Bridge, the local football field and back to where we started.
In all it’s a one hour loop and with the variety of scenery – mountains, river and forest – it’s well worth doing.
Here’s a link to a map of the loop. Enjoy.
This walk is simply spectacular. We recently did it on a beautiful sunny morning in February at it was just fabulous!
We usually park at the crossroads at Treanmanagh, up behind Caragh Lake, and start making our way along the road towards Glencar and the Windy Gap. About twenty minutes up, you come to a bench, perfectly located for a cup of tea and some stunning scenery.
We then wander on, turning left at the gate, making our way down towards the shore, and left again towards Madame’s Island. It’s then a stroll along Caragh Lake until you get to Lough Beg where we turn left, back up to where we began.
With a starting point just a ten minute drive from the house, a loop of two hours and some spectacular views, it’s definitely one of our top four.
Here’s a link to the map.
We usually park half-way down the beach, depending upon the tide, and walk the length of it – around the front, past the Sunbeam (an old schooner that ran aground in 1903), up to the tip and down again along the back beach to where we started.
Around the front you have some stunning views of Dingle Bay with the Blasket Islands far off in the distance and Inch Beach on the other side. Around the back, at low tide, you can spot Oyster Catchers and other sea birds on the mudflat, and you’ve got beautiful views of Castlemaine Harbour, Dooks and Cromane in the distance.
If you time it right you’ll greeted by the most amazing sunsets on your return.
Caragh Lake Forest
The views up above Caragh Lake Forest are simply spectacular and it’s literally on the doorstep.
We usually set off down at the house and walk along the road, towards the Ard na Sidhe, turning left at the forestry sign and up to the recreation area. From here we take the small path at the back of the car park, up the mountain and, after about ten minutes, turn left as we make our way to the top.
From there you have some absolutely breathtaking views of Caragh Lake, as well as Cromane, Rossbeigh and Inch in the distance, and on a windy day, it’s the best possible spot to blow away those cobwebs! If you’re walking with children, there’s also a Geocache hidden at the top – the perfect incentive. 🙂
Once we’ve soaked up the scenery (and had a cup of tea), we walk back down, veering left as we head towards the road and make our way back to the house.
It’s a one hour loop and, with it being right on the door step, is our absolute all-time favourite. Here’s a link to the map of the walk.
If you’re living or holidaying in the area, and have other loops to share, we’d love to hear them, and we’ll obviously add new ones as we discover them.
In the meantime, enjoy and happy hiking.