Drung Hill Walk

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Culture & heritage

DRUNG HILL WALK

Drung Hill rises straight up from the sea. It’s a less-frequented portion of the Kerry Way, but this is its charm. On a clear enough day, you can find yourself alone for miles with panoramic views that take in South Kerry, West Kerry and the Reeks District.

On an overcast day, this hike is like walking along the edge of the world. After the initial climb, the path levels out and hugs the side of the hill, which drops dramatically on your right. As you progress, there is nothing below the steep drop but the immensity of the ocean.

The path you follow is visibly rutted, having been used as a stagecoach road until the 1800s. Over Mountain Stage, you can see tunnels where the train once made its way to Valentia Island in the 20th century, parallel to the modern Ring of Kerry Road further down. On the shoulder of Drung, turn left, leaving behind the Kerry Way. A steep climb through heather will bring you to a cairn on the summit where you can see Valentia Island, the Dingle Peninsula, Castlemaine Harbour, the sand bars of Inch Beach and Rossbeigh Strand, Curra Hill and MacGillycuddy’s Reeks beyond.

Drung comes from the Irish for a gathering of people. The ogham stone near the summit marks the spot where people used to gather for religious pilgrimages in the medieval period and probably earlier.

From here, you can call it a day and turn back, but if you have enough time, you can continue on to Beenmore and walk along the lip of Coomasaharn Horseshoe, which overlooks Coomasaharn Lake.

THE PLACE

Day 1 Training
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Day 2 Rafting Whitewater
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Day 3 Rafting The Chilko
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Coach Road

The start of the trail was once a coach road that now forms part of the Kerry Way.

Ogham stone

There's an ogham stone at the summit where people gathered for religious pilgrimages in the Middle Ages.

Railway tunnels

From Drung Hill, you can look down and see tunnels where the railroad to Valentia Island ran until 1960.

Butter Road

The path was part of an old Butter Road where people transported firkins from South Kerry to Cork.

Drung Hill walk

Reeks District

FAQ

Drung Hill is on the OSI Discovery Series 78 map.

A sandwich and a flask of tea. The nearest place to get food is in Glenbeigh.

 

Wear proper hiking boots as the trail can be quite muddy and bring a rain jacket because the weather is anyone’s guess.

From Killorglin, take the 279A bus toward Caherciveen/Waterville and ask the driver to stop at Mountain Stage outside of Glenbeigh.

 

It's a 20 minute walk from the bus stop to the trail start.

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