Starting point: Allihies Copper Mine Museum, Allihies, Co Cork
Length: 18 Kilometers
Time: 4hrs – 5hrs
Terrain Type: Minor roads, coastline, hillside tracks.
Grid Reference: OS Sheet 84, V586 448
Waymarker Colour: Purple
A-B. Leaving the Heritage Centre, follow the purple arrows downhill along the surfaced road. At 200m pass a crossroads and 500m later reach a 4-way junction, turn right onto the ‘beach road’. You are joined on the Beara Way – waymarked with yellow arrows. Stay on this road for 600m go past the beach and public toilets onto a sandy roadway that takes you over a stile and onto the coastline.
B-C. Follow the purple arrows as the loop takes you along the coastline for 2km. Joining a surfaced road cross straight over and follow this road for 300m to reach a stile where you turn left. Follow the purple arrows as the loop takes you by farm buildings and uphill to a disused mine area. Joining a surfaced road, turn right and travel downhill for 200m to reach a narrow track on your right. The green loop turns right here – continue straight on following the purple (and blue) arrows.
C-D. Follow the roadway for 300m to reach a stile on your left. Cross this stile and follow the purple arrows past old mining buildings to join a minor roadway. After 500m you join a surfaced road and turn left. Follow this road for more than 1km to a junction where you rejoin the Beara Way (yellow arrows). Continue to follow roadway past Kealoge Mine (on your right) to reach a narrow laneway on your right where the blue loop turns right following the Beara Way (yellow arrows). You continue straight ahead.
D-E. Continue to follow the surfaced roadway for approximately 500m to reach a roadway on your left into Beara Holiday Homes. Turn left here, but almost immediately turn right and cross a stile into a field. After 300m you exit the field and join an old laneway – turn left and follow the laneway as it takes you through a forested section and follows a wire fence over a hill and descends to join a surfaced roadway at Knockroe. Turning right the loop descends gently to the townland of Kilkinnikin where it turns sharp right and joins a sandy laneway and ascends again. After the laneway ends the loop joins a wire fence and crosses hillside westward toward Knockincrough. Here the loop turns north again and starts a descent on a sandy laneway to reach the R575 at Ballydonegan.
E-A. The loop just crosses the main road here and rejoins the Beara Way (yellow arrows) and turns right. Shortly afterwards you join an old laneway and turn left following the shoreline of Ballydonegan Bay. After Bayyydonegan Strand the loop joins the 4-way junction mentioned at A above. This time go straight on and enjoy the last 500m back to the trailhead.
The Ballydonegan Looped walk will take you along the stunning and rugged coastline as well as wandering the hillsides beyond Allihies and Ballydonegan. You’ll get to see many disused mines as well as the picturesque farm houses and even some wild mountain sheep on your way!
Never walk alone, tell people where you are going and when you’ll return.
Familiarize yourself as much as possible with the route in advance, bring an appropriate map with you, contact the Allihies Copper Mine Museum to get advice on the routes.
Always follow the correct way marker signs when on your route.
Come prepared, wear comfortable durable hiking boots or shoes, a backpack with rain gear , torch, blanket, socks, sufficient food, plenty of water or fluids , and an extra power-bank for your mobile phone.
Please consider the environment, don’t leave any rubbish lying around, leave as you found!
If there is an emergency please call 999 or 112, check the weather forecast before you plan your hike.