|Map||OSI Discovery Series #70|
|Route & GPX||Mapped in ViewRanger|
One of the best mountain bike routes in the county. This is Irish all-mountain riding at its best. The access is well formed and easy to navigate and the descent fast and flowing.
This route is mapped as a circuit but if you don’t fancy the road transition, and had two vehicles, you could leave one at the start of the turf road and one at the viewing point on Sleigh Head. This is described in detail below.
As this mountain is directly exposed to the Atlantic it’s advised to check the weather conditions in advance. Conditions change fast here so preparation is key.
As mapped, the route begins and ends at Krugers Pub in Dún Chaoín. There is ample parking unless there is an event underway.
However, if you want to cut out the road section and have two vehicles you can park at the beginning of the turf road (marked as 1 -Turf Road Start) where there is space for two or three cars/vans.
Leave the second vehicle at the viewing point that looks over to Dunmore Head (marked 2)
Turf Road Ascent
The turf road is easy to follow and well surfaced. Easy to moderate climbing initially until you cross the flat hilltop overlooking Lough Eagle. At this point it gets very steep for a stretch and you’ll need to push up. Once you reach the end of the turf road look for the walkers path on the right of the bog cutting. Follow the walking trail, which is just a line of worn grass, to the summit. In low visibility be sure to follow the trail as if you veer too far east there is a cliff.
The summit is marked (569 m)
From the summit follow the track (barely visible at times) due south in the direction of the solitary wooden pole. You will know you are heading the right direction if you get to a large bog cutting which you have to get across after about 150-200 metres. Once across, follow the old stone wall. You will arrive to a rocky outcrop where it gets quite steep and technical with large boulders to negotiate. If you pick the wrong line you may have to walk a few meters. After that it’s a fast descent alongside the wall on the south easterly side. Once you get to the sheep shelters (which look like small stone buildings you should cross to the north westerly side of the wall. Continue down alongside the wall as far as the power poles. There is a barely visible trail leading north easterly at this point towards a farm gate. This leads to part of the Dingle way. Follow the zig-zag road down and out onto the road.
Road Transition (optional)
If you parked at Krugers Pub you just need to follow the main road and then you’ll be home. Advisable to have a rear light and high-vis as cars and buses do travel at speed in places here.