If you’re pushed for time but still want to sample the majesty of the MacGillycuddy Reeks, Strickeen Mountain is ideal. Thanks to much work having been done on the track, it’s easily the most accessible part of the range for most people and can be covered in half a day.
Start out by parking at Kate Kearney’s Cottage or the Coffee Pot Cafe which have the most homemade delicious scones for afterwards… Head up the gap passing the jarveys on the way – if you’re not familiar with them, these are horse-drawn cars, so no cheating! After about 2km, there is a sign on the right hand side saying Strickeen Mountain with details about the route – please stop and have a read.
Proceed on through the gate and follow the route on up. Take note of the huge masses of rock formed by the last Ice Age which are amazing to see. The rock here is red sand stone and many of these areas are used also for rock climbing, so if you fancy a challenge next time you’re in town it’s worth it.
Head on up the almost zig-zag route and you’ll start to see the lakes of Killarney, Beaufort, Killorglin, and the Atlantic Ocean – stunning views for miles. Nearing the flat area at the top you will see some trees that look burnt; they have in fact been eaten by a beetle. You’ll come to an open area and the stone track pretty much stops, in front of you, you will be looking into the Hags Glen and Carrauntoohil.
Take an almost right you’ll know from the worn track across a marsh, try to stay on the worn area of the marsh as its pure bog and is pretty much wet all the time. You’ll see the summit of rocks in the distance. Despite most being in step formation, you still need to take care.
Once you summit you can sit back and take in the views and peacefulness not a noise to be heard most of the time. Even though its only 440m you still feel on top of the world. Again take care descending and it’s on the same route down again to a welcome cuppa and scone in one of the cafes.
Caragh Lake House
The ideal spot for your next family reunion or group getaway. With your own private lakefront, beautiful spacious interior and breathtaking 180º views this secluded six bedroom house right on the shores of Caragh Lake, just off the Ring of Kerry, is the perfect place to rest, recharge and reconnect.