Ballaghbeama Cycle Loop Directions
0 to 10km
From the train station, cycle out to the main road and turn right towards the roundabout and the friary. Turn left at the roundabout and keep straight as you continue onto narrow Plunkett Street and emerge after 400m onto Main Street. Turn right here onto the cobbles, and after 450m you emerge onto Rock Road at a junction.
Take an immediate left onto New Road, and then turn right onto Port Road after 600m. You will soon reach the Ballydowney roundabout where you will turn left on the N72.
Cycle for 5.1km along [5km marker] the N72 until you turn left on Gap Road, just after you pass through the village of Fossa. There are signs for the Gap of Dunloe and Kate Kearney’s Cottage. From here to Kate Kearney’s is 5.4km. As you cycle along Gap Road, the Gap of Dunloe will begin to reveal itself to you as you look ahead. The road swerves right.
10 – 20km
Then the road swerves left before you reach a crossroads. There is a sign for the Gap of Dunloe to the left, but you go straight ahead.
Stay on this road for 3.9km and you reach the first crossroads at Carhoonahone [15km marker]. Go straight through it.
###Optional detour to Cronin’s Yard###
###5.8km return – 70m climbing###
Just after going through the crossroads, the first left is signed Carrauntohill. Cycle 2.9km up here to reach Cronin’s Yard tearooms, where the hike to Ireland’s highest peak begins.
Continue west (left if returning from Cronin’s yard) the way you were going. Ignore numerous turnoffs on both sides. Views of the peninsula and the mountains begin to open up.
20 – 30km
When there is a right turnoff and the road bends left and is signed for Glencar, keep left and it is 5.0km from here to Lough Acoose. You reach one t-junction on the way, where you turn left. You [25km marker] reach the Lough after a short climb.
Cycle past the lake.
30 – 40km
You pass the Climber’s Inn at the first crossroads, in Glencar. Go straight through it and after 1.5km the first left is signed Ballabeamagh Gap
The first 3km [35km marker] are flat. When the road curves right, ignore a left turn for Bridia Valley that goes straight. The road climbs. When you reach a fork, keep left, going uphill.
40 – 50km
After you cross the top, a narrow gap between two hills, you begin the descent of the other side.
Fantastic views open up on the descent [45km marker], which lasts around 2km. The only other road joins from the right. Keep left here and it is another 1.9km to the t-junction with the R568. Turn left.
After just 500m, take the left turn at the first crossroads you reach, which appears to be going nowhere. It is not signed.
50 – 60km
This road is very quiet, and after a while it passes a lake. Stay on the main road as it begins to climb [55km marker] at the lake. You then climb up over a scenic pass. Go down the other side.
60 – 70km
When you reach a right turn by a wood you are at Gearhasallagh.
Keep straight. After a short flat section, the road twists up and down on its way [65km marker] to the Black Valley. Ignore two turnoffs to the right and keep straight. After the road begins to climb upwrd again, take the right which is signposted the Gap of Dunloe.
###Optional detour through the Black Valley###
###15km return – 140m climbing###
From here you can take a right and cycle the 5km or so into the Black Valley before returning the same way. The road ends at a farmhouse before a short hike uphill to a lake. If you have the legs, it’s highly recommended.
70 – 80km
It’s an easy climb up to the Gap of Dunloe, and a fun descent [75km marker] on the other side.
Continue north past Kate Kearney’s Pub. Take the first right (returning the way you came at the start of the ride) and stay on the road as it swerves right.
80 – 89km
Then it bends left. Ignore the turnoffs and you will emerge on the N72.
Take a right to go through Fossa [85km marker].
Ride the few kilometres to the Ballydowney Roundabout (the first roundabout). Take the 3rd exit.
Follow Port Road and keep straight past the chuch, following the sign for Kenmare. The road curves left to Kenmare Place. There, take a left for Cork, and the turnoff for the train station will soon be on the right just before you reach the friary at the roundabout.