The Glengarriff Nature Reserve is home to over 300 hectares of oak woodland and is a wonderful place to visit at any time of year. Each season shows a different aspect of the woods and it is equally as beautiful to visit in the first flush of spring as it is during the colourful palette of autumn. There are several clearly marked walks in the woods so there is a trail for every age, ability and fitness level. Depending on how much time you have and what your energy levels are, it is always rewarding to combine a few of the loops into a longer tailor-made walk.
The Esknamucky Trail
The Esknamucky Trail, which is a loop walk of just under 3km, is the most rugged of the trails as it winds its way up steeply through the woods.
Also known as the High Walk, there are many steps along the trail as the path threads up towards the top of the climb.
There are several scenic viewing points along the way which give panoramic views over the forest and to the mountains beyond.
The Esknamucky Trail is often combined with the shorter, but gorgeous, Waterfall Walk.
The Mealagh Valley Walks Group will be hosting a series of public walks next Sunday 18th October. There will be a variety of walking options to suit children, families, and more serious hikers.
These will include a guided nature walk along the Mealagh River – ideal for families with younger children. For the more adventurous, there will be a stiff hike through woodlands and over Mullaghmesha Mountain with breathtaking views of the West Cork coastline and Kerry mountains.
This will be the fifth year that the Valley group has held such a walking day, and on each occasion it has been tremendously popular with walkers of all ages enjoying the exercise, camaraderie and a fun day out.
Car-pooling will be arranged to and from the Mealagh Valley Community Hall beginning at 11.00am. Soup, sandwiches and refreshments will be served at the hall as walkers return.
Registration fee, including lunch will be €5 with any proceeds going towards the Mealagh Valley Community Hall, which provides a valuable resource to people of all ages living in the valley. .
Further information on the walks is available from Quentin Gargan on 086 869 3140 or firstname.lastname@example.org
To get to the Community Hall, take the Glengariff Road out of Bantry, turn right after the Quickpick shop. Pass Co-Action and take the next turn left. Travel 4.5 miles, or 7km and turn left at the school..
The Coorycommane Walk is a fabulous new asset to Bantry and surrounds. It is a credit to the people involved in making it happen and for providing such a wonderful amenity. It is a way marked trail of 4.8km and is part of the Beara Walking Route. We walked it this Easter with friends and the kids loved it. It is one of those walks that has a little bit of everything – winding forest trails, steep hills, grasslands, hilltops and boggy, bumpy bits.
Coorycommane is a NLP (National Loop Walk) and it starts at Coomhola bridge where there is ample parking. The walk kicks off with quite a steep climb before it winds through a well marked forest. Kids cant resist running ahead. It has the feel of a real adventure trail. The climb can then be quite strenuous to the top of Coorycommane Hill which will give you a panoramic view of the beautiful Coomhola and Borlin Valleys as well as a sweeping vista of Bantry Bay.
The route is beautifully marked and where there are no signposts, look for clues painted onto the rocks and stones.
The walk then winds its way through more forestry before meeting up with the ‘Bog Road’ which will lead you back to the starting point at the Cooomhola Bridge.
The Coomhola River is a wonderful place for a picnic and to cool little feet. The walk took about 2 hours and was enjoyed by all age groups.
The Dromillihy Woods, near Connonagh on the N71 are a great walk with small children. It is a lovely place to toddle – removed from the road and with just enough uphill and downhill to make it interesting.
Kids love exploring woodlands and if you are travelling down to West Cork on the N71, it is a great place to stretch your legs and to use the picnic facility. The Cellmount walk is just over 1.5km and older, more robust children could easily do the walk twice – clockwise and then anti-clockwise.
The development of the woodland trail is all down to a dedicated team of people from the local community who got together to make it happen. Standing together, they fundraised and planned and have succeeded in creating a lovely and valuable amenity in the community. The trails were officially opened by Cllr Barbara Murray in April this year (2013) and have already seen many families enjoying and benefitting from it.
There are interesting boards all along the walk with information on the local flora and fauna.
The Dromillihy Wood amenity site is a testament to what a community can do if it works together for the greater good. It is a credit to the community of Connonagh.