Blackwater Way - Avondhu

Walking
County Cork
3.4/5
11 reviews
Grade Moderate
Length 94 km
Am 6 days
Format Linear
Ascent 3690 m
Dogs Allowed No
Waymarking Yellow arrow on black background
Start Point
Clogheen
Finish Point
Bweeng
Nearest Town to Start Clogheen
Grid Ref. S 004 138
Lat./Lon. 52.276, -7.99413

The Blackwater Way (the combined Duhallow and Avondhu Ways) is a 168 kilometre linear long distance walking route that stretches from the borders of west County Waterford across north County Cork and into the County of Kerry, following the valley of the River Blackwater. It is part of the European E8 route. The Way is a richly varied one in terms of topography and features, and includes contouring sections along mountain flanks with great views, passing by ancient monuments such as standing stones, stone circles and cairns, and more modern monuments such as cillins (infant burial grounds) and holy wells. Along the way the towns of Fermoy and Millstreet and the villages of Kilworth, Ballynamona and Bweeng are encountered. Although the off-road sections are never far from a public road, on higher ground the route frequently passes through quite isolated mountain areas of forestry. Although about 28% of the route is on roads that carry fast traffic, the balance consists mainly of quiet tarmac roads, forestry tracks, bog roads and moorland and field paths. Some sections can be wet and muddy in wet weather. Until the last 15 kilometres during which there is a climb of 560m under Caherbarnagh and the Paps, there are no significant ascents, although over the whole route there is an aggregate ascent of 3,700 metres.

Trail Management

Avondhu Blackwater Partnership, Tel: 022 46580, Email: dave@avondhublackwater.com

Facilities

Car parking
At Start - on street or in car park in Clogheen
At End - on road side in Bweeng

51 kms or 54% of the Way follows local roads.
PLEASE NOTE the section of the Blackwater Way that traverses Carrigduff-Knockanroura Coillte forest near Mallow will be temporarily closed for 4 weeks from 19 December 2018 to 16 January 2019 to facilitate harvesting operations. Please follow the signs. Thank you for your co-operation.

Map Guides

Map Guides

The Blackwater Way Map Guide – EastWest Mapping - Out of Print

OSI Maps

OSI Maps

Discovery Series Sheets 74, 80 and 81* (*ca 3.2km through Fermoy)
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

At Start: Daily express bus and limited local service Check with Bus Eireann.
At End:None

11 trail reviews
3.4/5
Write your own review of this trail
07/05/2019

Aina from Austria

Parts of this trail are very lovely and pleasant, I really enjoyed them. Quite remote, quiet and nice to look at. Markings are quite good.

Tha massive amount of roadwalks is frustrating and boring.
1/5
03/02/2019

Finbarr from Cork

Unfortunately being eroded by Sitka spruce plantations, deforestation and destruction of hedgerows,must have been magnificent in its prime,sad.
4/5
08/26/2018

Mark from United Kingdom

I walked the vast majority of the trail at the end of June - Clogheen to Mallow to be precise during the heatwave and over 3 days which was very challenging - yet I thoroughly enjoyed it!

In particular the views and remoteness of the route between Clogheen and Mountain Barracks where I rested after day 1, was superb. I recall stepping off the track slightly around Crow Hill and seeing the most wonderful view, across several counties no doubt.

The route was well signed throughout.

Kilworth seemed a lovely village and Fermoy an attractive market town.

Another highlight was following the Blackwater out of Fermoy, whilst a rowing regatta was underway and with lots of herons around, however it was only for about 2km's - it was disappointing not to stay with the attractive river for longer.

In summary, if you love Ireland and Irish hospitality, and accept that there will be road sections included in the trail, you too will have a great time!








Email: obrien_mark2@sky.com
05/24/2018

Els from Belgium

We walked from Clogheen to Killavullen beginning of May 2018, we skipped the part between Mallow and Bweeng as it is all along tarmac. This is a beautiful path. Waymarks are well foreseen all along.
5/5
03/28/2018

Carl Lange (Tough Soles) from Roscommon

Of the 21 waymarked trails we've done so far, the Blackwater way stands out with some of our absolute favourite sections. For the Avondhu Way in particular, the section from the Vee to Kilworth is simply incredible on a good day. Mallow and Fermoy are lovely, and there's some really stunning views all along the trail. I would highly, highly recommend this trail and its sister trail, the Duhallow Way. The Avondhu Way is a walk for less experienced hikers, with a lot of easily traversed terrain and plenty of towns to rest in, and the Duhallow Way is great for grizzled hikers looking for a challenge. I can't say enough good about the Blackwater Way!

We hiked the trail in late Summer 2017 and found no issues with it. There's plenty more information in our blog posts and video about the trail: https://toughsoles.ie/blog/2017/8
1/5
10/11/2014

Peter from United Kingdom

Non-Irish hikers will be disappointed. This long-distance way does not meet the standard of English, Scottish, Welsh or continental long-distance ways. Almost all of the route is on tarmac roads or forestry tracks, there are hardly any moorland or field paths. From a British or continental point of view, walking this way has nothing to do with hiking.
07/14/2014

Graham from Cork

Ran from Kilworth to Mountain Barrack (and back) approx 12 miles, all forest fire road,trail is well signposted, hilly but not overly taxing. Lovely views when you eventually get above the tree-line.
5/5
06/10/2014

Michael from Waterford

Great track! We went from Mallow to Fermoy, the new route changes are much better than the old routes along the small roads. It's almost all off road now.Some of the route are tracks like I've never walked before and the valleys at this time of year were alive with wild flowers. Keep up the good work.
03/25/2014

MIchael from Waterford

Brilliant trail we need more of these. Deceptively short from Ballyporeen to Kilworth was there by lunchtime. Keep up the great work.
4/5
01/24/2014

Phil from Clare

Ran a section from Glensheskin Wood near Kilworth (Map 3) half way across Map 2 (north of Araglin). Really good quality off road trails. Disappointingly there has been a significant change in route from the OS map, due to a new forestry plot and a confusing route marker didn't help matters. I think it could be made more off road with a few small changes. Great trail though.
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