Walking with QC’s
Many Hill Walking trails have been developed in recent times in Cahersiveen and offer you an excellent way to explore the wonderful beauty of the county of Kerry by Walking with QC’s.
The Laharn Bog Loop Trail
Join the Laharn Bog loop at the foot of Beentee Mountain, take a left on the road instead of going right for town. Enjoy views of hillside farms and pass peaceful homesteads enroute. This distance of this route is 12 km, of a moderate grade and should take 4-5 hrs approx.
Derrynane Mass Loop- Timeless Walk through Our Liberators Shores
This is an interesting, beautiful and varied loop walk in the Derrynane area, incorporating forest, farmland, beach and quiet country roads. Stunning views and historical sights abound. This walk over the hillside and shoreline and through the grounds of Our Liberator, Daniel O’Connell’s home, tells the history when Catholics were banned from celebrating Mass. The people of Caherdaniel parish living in Farraniaragh, Coomatlauckane, and the islands of Scariff & Deenish (who rowed in by Curragh to Beal-tra-pier) walked this Mass Path during the Penal Times (in the 17th Century) to attend Mass at the Mass Rock which you will visit on your walk. It is fitting indeed, that Daniel O’Connell, one of Europe’s greatest Statesmen, led the Irish people and achieved Catholic Emancipation for our country and that during this walk you will visit his home, the Gardens & Derrynane National Park which his family left to the State.
Take a right turn out of the car park heading for the double metal gates, leading to a green hard surface road and the grassy sand dunes ahead. Look right at the end of the path, after approx 150 m and a low stone marker with a yellow walking man symbol points away to your right along the bottom of the sand dunes. Passing through the next car park on your right, join a sealed track which leads to a minor road. Turn left here and walk uphill. After another 200-300 m along the minor road you approach a car park with slipway for boats. Veer to the right and exit the car park through a gap in the old stonewall. Follow rock steps down a narrow track.
Continue following the mass path climbing along rock-steps and through native woodland to an inlet where a stone marker post with a yellow arrow marks the shoreline. Turn right towards the rock slab and climb along the gap in the slabs. This section can be slippy in wet weather as it is worn from years of boots treading along it. Approach the quay, Bealtra Pier, on your gentle descent to another sealed track and take the minor public road away from the pier on your right. Follow the roadway gradually back uphill, past farmhouses and grazing fields. Don’t forget to look back to see the vista of Derrynane Bay.
After approx. 1.5 kms you will arrive at a sign pointing right off the road for the Kerry Way. Turn right here. Your walk now takes you along the famous long distance trail, the Kerry way. Close by as you walk, you will pass ruins of pre-famine homesteads, where they have overlooked Derrynane Bay for hundreds of years. Continue to follow the arrows taking you in a south easterly direction along this ancient road until you begin your descent to the Derrynane Road through native woodland. Turn right at this road, going downhill and arrive at Derrynane House through the whitewashed facade of the bell gate. Follow the hard surface track through the estate and back to your car.
This walk is 13km or 8 miles over a moderate grade and should take 3-5 hours.
The Beentee Loop
A steep climb to the summit of Beentee Mountain provides panoramic views of Cahersiveen the birthplace of Daniel O’Connell the ‘Liberator’. Sigerson Clifford’s song ‘The Boys of Barr naSraide’ describes Cahersiveen as “the town that climbs the mountain and looks upon the sea”. Caherciveen lies on The Fertha River, overlooking Valentia Harbour. It is the main centre for the western end of the Ring of Kerry and is an ideal location for exploring the rugged coast of the southwest of Ireland
This loop starts and finishes in the town centre. Follow the blue arrows and the purple National Loop arrows from the back of Fair Green car park and up towards Carharn Lower. From here you can enjoy a panoramic view of the town and Valentia Harbour. This part of the route is also on the Kerry Way (a long-distance route) which is signposted with yellow arrows and the little walking man sign. After approximately 1mile, the loop joins an old mass path through Carhan Upper. Follow this path along the lower slopes of the Beentee Mountain and you will come to a tarmac surface at Gurteen. After 300m you will see a signpost directing you to the right. Go over a stile onto a track which rises steeply onto the ridge south of Beentee. When you stop climbing this steep part, the loop swings sharp right and continues to climb along the ridge following ditches and you will see wire fences to the left. Towards the end of this second ’climb’, the ’loop’ goes over a stile and finally takes you up to the summit of Beentee. Now you will have the most spectacular views of the town, the harbour, and the marina. Well worth the effort for all the photos! To descend, follow those blue arrows and you will come down to Garranebawn along well trodden paths and finally to an old laneway which exits on to a proper roadway at which point you will turn right. The last mile or so of the walk takes you back to the start along the back road which runs almost parallel to the Cahersiveen’s main street.
Cnoc na dTobar
Cnoc na dTobar (also known as Knocknadobar) is 690 metres high and situated 4.5 kilometres from Cahersiveen town in the south west Skellig Kerry region. It has been a sacred pilgrim site since prehistoric and medieval times.
The mountain was also an important mountain in Pagan Ireland, long before Christianity arrived. Cnoc na dTobar was the site of ancient mountain assemblies, especially the festival of Lughnasa, where harvest was celebrated on the mountain’s summit. A fire was lit and singing and dancing competitions were held.
In 1885, Canon Brosnan, parish priest in Cahersiveen and builder of the Daniel O’ Connell Memorial Church, decided to build fourteen stations of the cross along the mountain’s ancient trail. It is one of Ireland’s premier sacred mountains, similar to Croagh Patrick and Mount Brandon. It is also the most recent addition to the Pilgrim Paths of Ireland, one of just twelve pilgrim trails to be selected in the country.
At the base of the mountain there is a well dedicated to St. Fursey or St. Fursa, the sixthcentury saint, which is known for its healing mineral properties, especially for eye problems. As one climbs the mountain, the iconic Skellig rocks gradually appear. The trail is clearly marked and people of all ages can walk some or all of the path. The views are impressive, offering scenes across the Kerry mountains, Dingle Bay and West Cork.