Blackwater Way - Avondhu

County Cork
16 reviews
Grade Moderate
Length 126.2 km
Am 6 days
Format Linear
Ascent 3690 m
Dogs Allowed No
Waymarking Yellow arrow on black background
Start Point
Finish Point
Nearest Town to Start Clogheen
Grid Ref. S 004 138 / W 500 885
Lat. and Long. 52.276, -7.99413 / 52.04634, -8.72886

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:


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.

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

16 trail reviews
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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

jim from Cork

Did the Fermoy - Ballyhooly stage today. It's a varied, 3 hour walk, and well signed. One has to walk through a stream just before Ballyhooly bridge - stepping stones should be provided.

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