Healy Pass Cycle Loop Directions
0 to 10km
From Kenmare Main Square head south up the hill of Main Street, turning right at the top to follow the one-way system. At the small roundabout turn left and cross the bridge leading out of town. On the other side, keep left on the N71, signed Glengariff.
After a few metres, take the first left turn. Then take the second right along a narrow road. This brings you to a crossroads, where you turn right and head towards the hills [5km marker].
Stay on the main road when it curves right.
10 – 20km
The next right turn goes over a stone bridge – take it. A few metres later take a left turn when the road forks and this will bring you back to the N71, where you turn left.
The climb to the tunnel is enjoyable and very gradual the whole way [15km marker], and the road is wide for much of it. Inside the tunnel at the top you cross into County Cork.
20 – 30km
Stop at the first right turn after the tunnel. From here you can see the road to Barley Lake. Before you descend, you have the option to ride a couple of kilometres along the main road before returning, for some extraordinary views over Glengariff.
Take the right turn down a very steep hill. At one point the road bends right, while a track goes straight. Keep right on the good surface. At the bottom you reach a t-junction.
Take a left, signposted Barley Lake.
###Optional detour to Barley Lake###
#5km return – 240m climbing###
Take the next right.
Soon the climb will begin with a short brutal stretch of 32%. Keep going – it gets easier. You will probably have this road to yourself. At the top there is a tiny car park [25km marker]. It’s a couple of minutes walk to fine views of Barley Lake.
Descend the way you came, all the way back to the small bridge where you come to a t-junction. Go right this time to continue to Glengarriff, not the way you came.
Go straight ahead towards Glengarriff, also signposted. Ignore the right turn soon after. Go straight and after many turns [25km marker] you will reach the N71.
Go right on the N71 and it is 1.5km in to Glengariff.
From Glengariff take the R572 southwest, signposted Castletownbere. It will soon slowly climb uphill.
30 – 40km
Once you reach the top after the road widens, there is a flat section.
Soon after, take the first right turn, marked Lackavane [35km marker]. If traffic is quiet you can continue to Adrigole on the R572, but the road narrows and becomes less pleasant.
This quiet backroad makes a good alternative to the R572. After 3km, take the first right turn, which goes up a short hill.
40 – 50km
Stay on this road. When this road bends left, take a right turn. Climb a hill and on the other side you pass the ruin of Massmount Church. Go straight through the crossroads, down the hill and ignore the next left turn to emerge back on to the R572. Turn right on the main road and Adrigole is around the corner.
Adrigole itself is tiny. After crossing the bridge, take a right, signposted Healy Pass, Kenmare and Lauragh [45km marker]. Keep climbing.
It is a gentle, twisting 7km uphill to the top of the Healy Pass, with remarkable views from the top, where you cross back into County Kerry.
50 – 60km
The descent on the other side is steeper [55km marker].
At the bottom, at the first t-junction you reach is An Sibin Pub in Laragh.
Take a right at the t-junction. Almost immediately, go through the R571 at crossroads. Take the quieter road straight ahead to save a couple of kilometres. The road goes uphill for 2 kilometres. Descend the other side.
60 – 70km
After descending [65km marker] the hill you go through three crossroads in quick succession. Stay straight.
Eventually you reach a t-junction. Turn right. You will emerge back on the R571 at Clonee. Take a left, signposted Kenmare. A kilometre on, there is a crossroads. The right turn is signposted Gleninchaquin Park.
###Optional detour to Gleninchaquin Park###
###14km return – 120m climbing###
This follows a quiet boreen alongside three lakes and past a stone circle to the beautiful Gleninchaquin Park.###
Or keep straight on for Kenmare.
70 – 79km
Stay on the R571 [75km marker].
You reach a t-junction with the N71. Take a left across the bridge for Kenmare, which is only 1km away. Go straight down Henry Street and through the town to the main square.