Castleblagh, Co. Cork
It’s hidden gem. A beautiful walk through the forest and almost flat. And that’s why it’s almost suitable for everybody. And you have 2 options:
- A shorter loop and a longer loop, which includes a part of the Blackwater Way
- With or without a bit a gradient
I started at the main entrance to this forest area and took the left path up the hill to walk the loop.
If you aren’t that good with gradients (it’s only about 400 m and moderate), simply walk straight ahead and walk this part downhill at the end of your loop.
At the T-junction turn right to follow the main path coming from the 2nd entrance. It’s a very comfortable to walk. This part could be suitable for wheelchairs, too. After 1 km straight on the path turns slightly right and from here it might be a bit difficult for wheelchairs.
If you stick with this path it leads back to the starting point. But we can add another loop. Short before the trail turns right again and back to the parking area, you have the option to walk further on the Blackwater Way.
There is a turn off to the left. It’s getting a bit narrower. At its end you walk down a very narrow path through the forest and end up at a gate. Close the gate once you are through. The next way marking is unfortunately not directly opposite the gate, which would make sense. Simply let the farm house lay to the left and go straight through between the other farm buildings. Don’t worry, you are walking in the correct direction. Once through the farm buildings you will see the next way marking which leads to the left now.
Cross the fences and climb over the ladder which leads into the forest again. Follow now the path through the forest straight on and you will come to a tiny road. Turn right and walk for about 200 m on that road. You will come to an old bridge and directly after that bridge leads another tiny road right up to the gate where we came out of the forest just before .
Now walk back to the turn off and further on to the parking area.
Enjoy the tranquility of this wonderful walking trail. You won’t hear anything else than chirping birds, the rushing wind and a few insects buzzing. So relaxing.
The shorter loop is in its overall distance suitable for buggies, but only a part of the path could also be suitable for wheelchairs. In particular this is the part between the 2nd entrance and the turn off to the left with the way marking for the Blackwater Way (It is about 1 km). There is almost no gradient and also the surface might be possible to deal with.
As the M8 is toll-free between Dunkettle Rdabout and exit at Watergrasshill (exit 17), I took always take the R639 to Rathcormack and Fermoy. In Rathcormack turn left at the Pharmacy and go straight on until short before Ballyhooly.
You will come to a roundabout (52°8’20″N 8°23’51″W), take the first exit and go up the hill. After 250 m is the entrance with a small parking area at the right hand side.
52°8′13″ N 8°23′57″ W main parking
52°7′58″ N 8°23′49″ W 2nd entrance
Sorry for all my readers who are dependent on public transport. There even isn’t a bus stop nearby.
If you are interested in, I recommend in such a case my People walking service.