Loopy about Fermoy's loops

 

A route which links two looped walks near Fermoy makes for a great day out, writes TONY DOHERTY

I’M SURE walkers have noticed that the countryside has become laced with looped walks in recent years. Many are rather short but you may ferret out a linkage of loops to gain a very nice day out. Such is the case with an area to the southeast of Fermoy.

Your route starts at Fermoy’s Ashe Quay on a path known as the Barnane Walk. Here the Blackwater is at its most elegant as it sweeps around a broad meander bordered on both sides by magnificent broadleaf trees. At the end of the walk you enter Glenabo Wood.

The right of way in the first section of the wood has been fenced in with two-metre mesh fencing which spoils the atmosphere but you soon forget such environmental disrespect when you reach the unfettered forest paths beyond Glenabo Bridge.

On reaching the bridge turn left onto the road and follow the Avondhu way marker which brings you into the car park for the Glenabo Loop Walk and follows the sides of a narrow tributary valley of the Blackwater. The glen has a mix of conifers and broadleaf. There is also a variety of flora and fauna depending on the time of year.

Start on the left side of the route and, when you come to its end, turn onto the Avondhu Way.

Recent gales had left little autumnal colour in the trees but this was more than compensated for by the myriad shades of russet in the thick carpet of leaves underfoot.

After a short distance you will emerge onto a third class road and from here you have a 5km stroll on quiet country lanes around to the foot of Corrin Hill.

At the point where the Avondhu Way branches off into a dour coniferous plantation keep straight on uphill to a junction and then head west towards Fermoy Golf Club.

Having passed the entrance take a left at the next intersection and you will come to the car park for Corrin Hill (219m) from where a forest track marked by the Stations of the Cross leads to the summit.

Corrin is the eastern outlier of the Nagle Mountains and, like any peak standing proud over a plain, the views are comprehensive and impressive, ranging from the Ballyhoura Mountains and the Galtees to the north, the Knockmealdowns to the east and away to the west, on a dull day, the lights of Cork Airport are visible. And beneath you have Fermoy.

INEVITABLY ON such a prominent site there is a large Bronze Age burial mound which was excavated in the 19th century. The two urns discovered have disappeared. A concrete observation post in the middle of the cairn was built during the second World War.

Another desecration is that the extensive Stone Age hilltop fort has been swamped by coniferous plantation. A large stone cross was built on the site in 1933.

Drop back to the junction below the summit and turn right downhill for 800m to a sharp bend on the track.

Turn left here onto a narrow path, the first section of which is very wet but then becomes dry and stony, and leads onto a third class road taking you back to Glenabo Bridge from where you retrace your steps back along the river enjoying the changes in shade and texture woven by the evening light.

Route Glenabo Wood Corrin Hill, Fermoy, Co Cork

MapOrdnance Survey, Discovery Series, Sheet 80 and 81. Coillte maps of Glenabo Forest and Corrin Hill cover most of the walk.

Start/finishAshe Quay to the west of the Blackwater Bridge in Fermoy.

BFermoy is on the N8 in northeast Co Cork.

TimeFour hours.

Distance16.5km.

Total ascent310m.

SuitabilityEasy. Map, rain gear and boots advisable.

RefreshmentsFermoy.