Ballydonegan Looped Walk
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Allihies, Cork, Republic of Ireland
Walking along the coast as well as circling the hillsides beyond Allihies and Ballydonegan. It takes you on minor road, coastline and hillside tracks, passing through an area dotted with disused mine sites.
A-B. Leaving the trailhead at the Heritage Centre, follow the purple (and green and blue) arrows downhill along the surfaced road. The green and blue arrows are for shorter loops. After 200m pass a crossroads and 500m later reach a 4-way junction where you turn right onto the ‘beach road’. Note that you have now joined the long-distance Beara Way - waymarked with yellow arrows. Follow this road for 600m past the beach and public toilets and join a sandy roadway which takes you across a stile and onto the coastline.
B-C. Follow the purple (green, blue and yellow) arrows as the loop takes you along this superb coastline for 2km. Joining a surfaced road cross straight over and follow this road for 300m to reach a stile where you turn left. Follow the purple arrows as the loop takes you by farm buildings and uphill to a disused mine area. Joining a surfaced road, turn right and travel downhill for 200m to reach a narrow track on your right. The green loop turns right here - but you continue straight on following the purple (and blue) arrows.
C-D. Follow the roadway for 300m to reach a stile on your left. Cross this stile and follow the purple arrows past old mining buildings to join a minor roadway. After 500m you join a surfaced road and turn left. Follow this road for more than 1km to a junction where you rejoin the Beara Way (yellow arrows). Continue to follow roadway past Kealoge Mine (on your right) to reach a narrow laneway on your right where the blue loop turns right following the Beara Way (yellow arrows). You continue straight ahead.
D-E. Continue to follow the surfaced roadway for approximately 500m to reach a roadway on your left into Beara Holiday Homes. Turn left here, but almost immediately turn right and cross a stile into a field. After 300m you exit the field and join an old laneway - turn left and follow the laneway as it takes you through a forested section and follows a wire fence over a hill and descends to join a surfaced roadway at Knockroe. Turning right the loop descends gently to the townland of Kilkinnikin where it turns sharp right and joins a sandy laneway and ascends again. After the laneway ends the loop joins a wire fence and crosses hillside westward toward Knockincrough. Here the loop turns north again and starts a descent on a sandy laneway to reach the R575 at Ballydonegan.
E-A. The loop just crosses the main road here and rejoins the Beara Way (yellow arrows) and turns right. Shortly afterwards you join an old laneway and turn left following the shoreline of Ballydonegan Bay. After Bayyydonegan Strand the loop joins the 4-way junction mentioned at A above. This time go straight on and enjoy the last 500m back to the trailhead.