Cycle Gap of Dunloe 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 onto the cobbles. 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 the N72 [5km marker] 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 it swerves left before you leave it at a crossroads. You take a left by a bungalow at the crossroads to follow the signs for the Gap of Dunloe, which is clearly visible now. After a few hundred metres you reach Kate Kearney’s Pub and the Coffee Pot Café.
The road winds upward almost immediately in a series of brief but steep inclines. There is a long respite as you [15km marker] pass several lakes before it narrows and climbs again. The climb finishes with two hairpin bends, and spectacular views into the Black Valley from the crest.
20 – 30km
A thrilling, narrow descent finishes with three hairpins as you reach the valley.
###Optional detour through the Black Valley###
###15km return approx 140m of 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.
Once you pass a cluster of houses, ignore the two turnoffs in quick succession on the left. There are hardly any other buildings until you reach Moll’s Gap. The road twists its way over and around the landscape [25km marker]. It is tremendous fun and has a good surface.
You will reach a t-junction where you take a left and cycle beside a wood and up a long hill. Follow the signs for Kenmare and Killarney.
30 – 40km
This road to Moll’s Gap is very narrow and brutally steep in parts. When you reach the main road at the top, take the left for Killarney. Straight away, you will round a bend and reach Moll’s Gap café and shop.
This section of road offers spectacular views [35km marker] down on to the road you just travelled. After you pass a lake, the road descends. Ladies View is on the left, just beyond the carpark.
The road descends quickly through a series of tight, narrow bends.
40 – 50km
After the descent there is a rolling section [45km marker]. As the main road between Killarney and Kenmare it is invariably busy. However, the volume of tourist traffic and the difficult driving combine to keep speeds reasonably low, and much of this route is downhill. Your best bet is to push on quickly if you don’t like the traffic.