Whether you’re staying on the lake or elsewhere in Reeks District, Caragh Lake is an amazing spot and well worth exploring.

Here are my six favourite outdoor activities to help you do just that.

1. Swim

caragh lake vivienne rickman-poole

I love swimming in the lake! Yes, it takes a bit of ‘courage’ to go in, especially in winter, but once you’re out there, surrounded by the scots pine and mountains it’s absolutely amazing.

To get a feel, just have a look at the Lough Caragh project by Vivienne Rickman-Poole, our first artist-in-residence at Caragh Lake House from a wild week in January.

If you’re not staying directly on Caragh Lake and want to go for a dip, pop down at the public access which is located on the northern side. It’s a beautiful spot for a dip with views of Seefin to the west and the McGillycuddy Reeks to the south east.

As always, stay safe. Here are some good tips from the Outdoor Swimming Society.

2. SUP

On a still day in Reeks District, stand up paddle boarding on Caragh Lake, no matter what time of year, is a must. Seeing the reflections of the sky on the water and the gentle ripples as you cut through is magical.

This short film says it all.

Just get in touch with either Cappanalea who offer group outings for 6 or more people all throughout the year and drop-in sessions for individuals during the summer months; or H20 Watersports who can take out smaller groups from 2 people any time.

Do make sure you book and if you’ve brought your own board, check the forecast and remember to stay safe. The lake is stunning but the weather can turn quite quickly.

3. Kayak

Kayaking Caragh Lake

If I want to explore further afield and it’s a bit more breezy, heading out on the kayak is the way to go.

You can pack a picnic or why not stop off at the Ard na Sidhe for an afternoon tea in their gardens (yes… in your wetsuit) or drop up to Carrig Country House for a cool refreshing beer while you make your dinner reservation for later that evening.

Reeks District doesn’t get more ‘glam adventure’ than that… but don’t just take our word for it. Check out this piece by Jessie Leong from My Outdoors.

For kayaking trips just get in touch with Cappanalea to arrange your outing. They can take out groups of 6 plus people any time of the year or you can pop along to their drop-in sessions during the summer months.

4. Hike

There are some beautiful gentle walks on and around Caragh Lake. Here’s a post featuring three of my favourites.

If you want to get a little more adventurous why not hire a local guide such as Morrison Tours to take you up Seefin or Go Visit Ireland for a hike along the Kerry Way which hugs the western end of the lake.

5. Boat

Hiring a small boat with outboard motor is a lovely way to explore. Bring a picnic, stop off for lunch somewhere along the way and make a day of it.

You can also pick up a fishing rod and tackle at Boyles in Killorglin and try and catch your own.

For boat hire and fishing advice for Caragh Lake just get in touch with Upper Caragh Fishery.

6. Bike

Last but in no way least, why not explore the lake by bike.

The beautiful Mountain Lakes & Bakers Buns loop takes you around the western side, through Glencar and back via Killorglin, or you can just cycle around the lake coming back down via the Devil’s Elbow viewing point. Both routes are for the slightly more experienced road cyclist.

You can hire a wide range of bikes from KGC or just get in touch with Green Road Cycle Tours or Trailflow Adventures who will be happy to design a cycle tour around the lake for you and your friends.

Trailflow Adventures also offer mountain biking tours so if going off the beaten track is your thing, ask them about the Windy Gap – a beautiful stretch above the lake.

Hope one of these activities will inspire you to check out this beautiful spot. You now know what to do! #comeandplay 🙂

Jens Bachem is Co-Owner of Caragh Lake House, a luxury lakefront house on Caragh Lake; and Chair (2018/2019) of Reeks District.

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