Blackwater Way - Duhallow

IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT THAT DOGS MUST NOT BE BROUGHT ON THE SHRONE / THE PAPS AREA OF THIS TRAIL AT ANY TIME, NOT EVEN ON A LEAD. BRINGING DOGS IS PUTTING THE TRAIL AT RISK OF CLOSURE. LANDOWNERS ARE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE IMPACT ON THEIR LIVESTOCK AND THE ONGOING PRESENCE OF DOGS WILL LEAD TO THE CLOSURE OF THE TRAIL.

Walking
County Cork
3.4/5
9 reviews
Grade Moderate
Length 67 km
Time 3 days
Format Linear
Dogs Allowed No
Waymarking Yellow arrow on black background
Start Point
Bweeng
Finish Point
Shrone
Nearest Town to Start Mallow
Grid Ref. W 500 885 / W 138 882
Lat. and Long. 52.04634, -8.72886 / 52.0392, -9.25637

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

IRD Duhallow, Tel: 029-60633

Facilities

Car parking
At Start - on road side in Bweeng
At End - None in Shrone

IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT THAT DOGS MUST NOT BE BROUGHT ON THE SHRONE / THE PAPS AREA OF THIS TRAIL AT ANY TIME, NOT EVEN ON A LEAD. BRINGING DOGS IS PUTTING THE TRAIL AT RISK OF CLOSURE. LANDOWNERS ARE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE IMPACT ON THEIR LIVESTOCK AND THE ONGOING PRESENCE OF DOGS WILL LEAD TO THE CLOSURE OF THE TRAIL.

21 kms or 31% of the Way follows local roads.
There may be some wet areas underfoot so it is advisable to wear the appropriate footwear.

Map Guides

Map Guides

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

OSI Maps

OSI Maps

Discovery Series Sheets 79 and 80
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

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

9 trail reviews
3.4/5
Write your own review of this trail
2/5
10/11/2019

Denis from Cork

Walked a portion from above the Kerrymans Table to St Johns Well. An amount of rubbish, bottles, cans, vacuum cleaner etc and a burnt out car that looked as if it had been there for a few years, filled with even more rubbish, tents etc. Come on Coillte, you need to clean up and prevent this mess from happening. Also an unhelpful display board near St Johns end, the "you are here" clearly incorrect and factual errors in text.

Some markers are just about standing, just. Lack of directional signs from roads as to where you can join the trail.

Some nice scenery albeit spoiled with inappropriate forestry.
2/5
07/05/2019

Aina from Austria

I walked here three weeks ago, but quitted in Milstreet cause I didn't want to walk any road anymore. Constant danger for life and health is somewhat frustrating, when all you want is take a hike. The land is beautiful, even at rainy times, the trail is well signed, people along the way were friendly and helpful.
3/5
08/26/2018

Mark from United Kingdom

I walked some of this trail at the end of June when walking the Irish Coast to Coast and just like the Avondhu section of the Blackwater Way it was well signed - thank you!

I enjoyed visiting the St John's Well site, below Mushera, and also the historic Knocknakilla stone circle.

Leaving Millstreet, the route from Lough Murtagh area to Awnaskirtaun was slow going with it going across the side of hills, however it made the arriving at Shrone Moor and the foot of The Paps seem all the more special! A lovely area, I did like that.

En route to Shrone Moor, the path at Rathmore / Auniskirtane was heavily overgrown (and wired off by an unhelpful landowner in one spot!) so be prepared.

A visit to Shrone is one for another time, I headed to Clonkeen / Loo Bridge for the night where I had accommodation already booked - this involved tracking the Clydagh River which was a relaxing section and on a quiet wide road...
Email: obrien_mark2@sky.com
5/5
07/02/2018

Mary from Cork

We started in Clonkeen and went towards bweeng, the route is very well marked. There were a few fields we had to passthrough with cows and sheep but no bulls! Such an amazing walk.
05/24/2018

Els from Belgium

We walked from Bweeng to Millstreet beginning of May 2018. We’ll intent to continue next year. This part was very well waymarked and very beautiful. Only the last part towards Millstreet was a lot of tarmac. Only difficulty is to find lodging along the way. We were lucky to have a retired B&B owner who had the time to drop us and pick us up – sometimes 55km away – for 25€/day!
5/5
01/18/2016

Frank from Cork

Ran the Millstreet to Shrone route last weekend with a couple of buddies. Went over Claragh and looped to the right, once over, to join back up on the B.W.W. trail. Recommend doing this simply, for the amazing views. ( had the route marked out on my gps so it was easy enough coming back onto the trail). I had two routes planned to get onto the mountain stretch after Claragh, as others had warned one was blocked). The first left at Gortavehy East seems to be ceased as a trail, as the yellow man tells you keep on straight. This does lead to over 3 very boring miles of road till you come to the second left onto the mountain trail, which others have said previously was blocked by the landowner at Caherbarnagh.There now is a lovely fresh post marking the turn and the wire which closed this enterance is removed. There is a small wire fence further up the path which does not pose a problem., plus from here on in the trail markers are present in great numbers. We went knowing the conditions and expected lots of water and heavy boggy conditions and were not let down! I'd be slow to hike this until the summer months, if you're looking for a dry day out. We were absolutely blown away by the trail and the scenery and the river crossings, so much so, that it's on our list to do again next month, reversing the route. Not an easy trail by any means, and judging by the little worn pathways, that do disappear completely for large stretches, ( but loadsa posts ) , only a brave few souls do this trek. Get out there and enjoy it while it lasts like this.NOTE FROM NATIONAL TRAILS OFFICE: The reviewer is correct - the first route at Gortavehy East mentioned above is no longer part of the Blackwater Way - it has been re-routed via Caherbarnagh as described. 
5/5
06/06/2015

Brian from United Kingdom

Just walked the Duhallow Way this week. Magnificent scenery from the high ridges along Mushera, Claragh and Caherbanagh.

However two areas of difficulty. First one is between Bweeng and Millstreet the trail does not go over Seefin any more - I think due to forestry works - and there is a long, largely uphill road section until you meet the carpark with the milestone distances to Cork and Millstreet.

A more serious problem appears between Millstreet and Shrone. When you turn left at Coohig's Cross the signposting to leave the road again up towards Lough Murtagh is loose and very badly positioned. In addition the landowner who lives in the house where the trail turns up has gone to great round to barricade off the trail at this point. It was only when we saw further direction posts further up the hill that we knew we were on the correct track, but we had to disentangle a lot of interconnected wire meshing which blocked off path up the hill.

Don't know why this was done, but walkers should be aware that they may have to do something similar to get to the absolutely wonderful ridge walk and views along Caherbarnagh.
2/5
04/29/2014

PBarry from Waterford

Just completed part of the leg from Millstreet to Shrone, initially some very pleasent walking coming out of Millstreet around Mt Leader and Claragh Mountain. However once the way returns to the road near Croohigs Cross roads, all signs are turned, damaged or removed. The sign that marks the point to exit the road and head up to Lough Murtagh is missing (or maps wrong, not sure) spent some time looking for it, but to no avail. Will now complete the leg by following the road all the way to Shrone which kind of defeats the purpose. Also around this area there is signs for the Beare-Breffni Duhallow Way which is not the same Duhallow as far as I can figure and causes confusion. It would be great if one body took care of all the signage as it is confusing and frustrating around here and counter productive.
03/10/2014

P from Waterford



Just finished the section between Bweeng and Millstreet. Some very pleasent walking as long as your prepared for water and mud (and climbing over obstacles due to the recent bad weather). In general very well marked with plenty of regular confidence markers. However impossible to follow the trail around Inchamay due to forestry operations and no temproary signage this almost resulted in us turning back but found the trail again after an hour. Also bring a stick as quite aggressive and unrestrained dogs at houses near Glantane close to Millstreet.
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