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Hiking trail

Adrigole to Glengarriff

Hiking trail · Ireland
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Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Start of Beara Way from Adrigole
    / Start of Beara Way from Adrigole
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Single Track Road towards Glengariff
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Way marked tracks through the Caha Mountains
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Views back down to Banty Bay and Whiddy Island
    Photo: Macs Adventure
ft 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 -500 12 10 8 6 4 2 mi

A long walk from Adrigole with varying terrain, past Sugar Loaf Mountain & wonderful views of Bantry Bay & Whiddy Island before descending back to the harbour town of Glengarriff.

20 km
5:45 h
662 m
673 m

Today's walk takes you through the Caha Mountain range starting from the tiny village of Adrigole. Following often muddy, way marked tracks until you reach a small single-track tarmacked road for a short period after which you join the Adrigole to Coomarkane route proper. The terrain for the next 8 kms or so is quite strenuous in places as there are steep rocky tracks and boggy open land throughout. The track is very well waymarked even on open ground so keep your eyes to the yellow markers. Once you’ve passed just below the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain at around 550m you then begin the descent back towards Coomarkane to re-join paved road back to Glengarriff. The final stages of the walk follow a lovely track along the banks of Canrooska around 3kms from town where you could take some time for a dip during hot weather. Once back in Glengarriff head for a well deserved pint of the black stuff.

Author’s recommendation

Soothe your tired feet by taking a dip in the Canrooska River. With it's low levels and slow flowing water it's quite safe next to the pebble beaches.

Highest point
544 m
Lowest point
0 m
Best time of year

Safety information

The main part of the route from Adrigole to Coomarkane crosses very mixed terrain with steep rocky sections and very boggy ground after rainfall. During low visibility keep close to the way marked track and remember you will have little in the way of phone signal up there.

Tips, hints and links

Food & Drink

As there is nowhere en route to get food it’s best to pack some supplies beforehand. There is a small store in Glengarriff which has a deli that can make you some delicious fresh sandwiches, open daily from 8am. Alternatively you can ask your transfer driver to stop by the store in Adrigole to pick up some snacks from there.


Points of Interest

 Lady Bantry’s Lookout

Enjoy fantastic panoramic views over Glengarriff to Garinish Island, Whiddy Island and Bantry Bay. To the north you can see the full extent of Glengarriff woodlands, nestling in the rugged glen rimmed by the Caha Mountains. It is said that Lady Bantry used to wait hear for her lover so her husband could not find her! 




Primary School in Adrigole. (15 m)
51.695444, -9.720070
51°41'43.6"N 9°43'12.3"W
29U 450232 5727410


Junction of N71 in Glengarriff.

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km – Standing with the small cream & orange primary school to your back, cross the road towards the green steps then climb these to join the trail. Sign posted for “Beara Way”

0.08 km – BEAR RIGHT to cross the river, using a metal bridge then BEAR LEFT. There are now many yellow & black marker posts pointing the way of the trail.

0.46 km – TURN RIGHT, again following the markers, to leave the muddy vehicle track then cross another set of green steps 80m ahead.

0.71 km – Ignore the yellow marker on your right and continue STRAIGHT ON to join a stony track.

0.95 km – Cross yet another set of green steps then continue STRAIGHT ON to the tarmacked lane in another 50m.

1.40 km – TURN LEFT at the crossroads to follow the road sign posted “Beara Way (to Glengarriff)”. There is also a yellow box with an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) located here for emergencies.

2.90 km – TURN RIGHT to leave the road and join the ascending vehicle track. Be sure to read and take note of the safety notice here as it gives a brief overview of what lies ahead.

3.00 km – Cross the green steps then continue STRAIGHT ON. The track is a mixture of stone and muddy bog. It can be extremely muddy during or after wet weather.

3.30 km – Cross a small section of open grassland to reach a perimeter fence then BEAR RIGHT to re-join the track after crossing a small stream.

3.50 km – At another small stream crossing BEAR LEFT and continue uphill towards a marker in 100m.

3.60 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON past the marker, keeping the rocky ground close to your right side.

3.70 km – Keeping the fence to your left side continue STRAIGHT ON up the hill.

3.90 km – Cross the green steps with views of Bantry Bay behind you and the rest of the Caha Mountains straight ahead. Then TURN RIGHT now keeping the fence to your right side.

4.20 km – Cross another set of green steps then BEAR RIGHT towards more steps 100m further on. Cross these and continue STRAIGHT ON.

5.00 km – The land here is now very open and often boggy when there has been wet weather. Keep the fence to your right side as you head up hill and stay close to this if visibility is low.

5.40 km – BEAR RIGHT then follow a small short ridgeline.

5.70 km – The track now begins to descend, be aware of slippery rocks during wet weather. After 100m cross the green steps on your right then continue STRAIGHT ON.

5.80 km – Yellow wooden markers now lead the way across open grassland towards Toberavanaha Lough.

6.20 km – The track begins to descend towards the shores of the lough. During a hot day this could be a great spot to for a swim.

6.30 km – On the opposite side of the lough BEAR RIGHT on the ascending stone track.

6.90 km – Once at the top of the hill continue STRAIGHT ON as the track descends.

7.30 km – During wet the ground will be very wet underfoot which can make it very tempting to stick to the rocky terrain on your right, if you do this be aware of steep drop offs. Especially during low visibility.

7.90 km – BEAR LEFT as you join a much more defined rocky track. Continue to follow the yellow markers.

9.00 km – BEAR LEFT as the track starts to descend slightly towards the public road.

9.40 km – Cross the green steps then BEAR LEFT and follow the yellow markers.

9.50 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON as the track now heads slightly up hill.

10.10 km – BEAR LEFT as the steep gravel track descends all the way to the public road.

10.60 km – Cross the green steps, followed by a second set to then join the road at Coomarkane. It’s now mainly single-track tarmacked road back to Glengarriff. TURN RIGHT and follow the road.

11.40 km – After crossing the river via a bridge with low stone walls TURN RIGHT and continue on.

12.50 km - At the split in the road TURN LEFT.

If you wish to shorten today's walk a little you can carry straight on here, instead of turning left and walk through the woods down a small tarmacked track (and past intermittent Beara Way signs) and into Glengariff this way. We chose the longer route veering off the Beara Way for a while, but if you are tired this would be a good option. You will hook up with our trail again at approx 18.3km which you can then follow for the directions into Glengarriff.

14.30 km – Cross the Glengarriff River via a bridge with low stone walls.

14.60 km – TURN RIGHT to join the bigger public road. Even though all of these roads are fairly quiet be aware of road uses and always walk on the right side of the road (towards on coming traffic).

16.80 km – TURN RIGHT to leave the road with a picnic bench on your right. Follow the signs for “River Walk” and head up the stone steps straight ahead.

17.00 km – TURN RIGHT and continue on the gravel trail along the banks of the Canrooska River. There are many pebble beaches along the way that could be nice to use to dip your toes on a sunny day.

17.40 km – TURN LEFT then cross the wooden bridge to reach the carpark. After 100m TURN RIGHT to re-join the road.

17.70 km – TURN RIGHT at the signpost for “Lady Bantry’s Lookout” and cross Glengarriff River using the green metal bridge.

18.00 km – TURN LEFT up the steps then left again onto the tarmacked road. If you have the time then why not take a side trip up to Lady Bantry’s Lookout.

19.30 km – TURN LEFT to join the main road back to Glengarriff.

19.80 km – After crossing the Cromwell Bridge your walk ends here at the junction of the N71, flanked by Glengariff’s graveyard on your left and a row of colourful houses on your right.


all notes on protected areas


51.695444, -9.720070
51°41'43.6"N 9°43'12.3"W
29U 450232 5727410
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Along with your usual gear for a day in the hills you would be wise to pack gaiters and poles along with a solid good-quality pair of waterproof boots of course.

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20 km
662 m
673 m
Round trip Scenic Geological highlights


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