‘Beenoskee’ and ‘Stradbally’ are situated at the centre of the east-west aligned mountain ridge which forms the spine of the Dingle Peninsula. This was formed from Old Sandstone which was bent and pushed up during a mountain building period about 300 million years ago, creating the high ridge we see today. Tralee Bay lies to the north and Dingle Bay to the south.
Start: Glanteenassig Forest ( cark park)
Finish: Glanteenassig Forest lower car park.
Duration: 6hours 30 minutes/7 hours
Grade: Mixed Terrain, grassy, rocky and boggy.
Route: At Aughacasla turn left and follow signs for ‘Glanteenassig Forest’ parking in the car park just beyond the bridge. From here walk the gravel road for roughly a kilometre to a T-junction, turn right and continue to the next T-Junction. Leaving the track via the gate, cross marshy ground and climb to join the ridge rising westwards, towards Stradbally summit.
From Stradbally, there are tremendous views east towards Baurtregaum and Caherconree and on a good day, to the southeast, ‘MacGillycuddy’s Reeks’ glimmer in the distance.
There is now a rocky descent to a col, with views of beautiful Loch an Choimín nestling below Beenoskee’s steep slopes. A gentle, curving ascent takes you to the peak of Beenoskee (2hrs 30mins, 7km, 800m ascent), from where there are great views to the west, encompassing the Brandon Range and sometimes beyond to the distant Skelligs.
Descend from this expansive mountain in a south-easterly direction towards point 346m, centred in a borad col. Veer left to look down into scenic Glanteenassig – the valley of waterfalls. ( From here the route can be cut short by descending northeast beside the waterfall to the lake and following the boardwalk to the upper cark park, then taking the forestry road back to your starting point at the lower car park.)
Continuing on, the cliffs on your left will guide you to the ridge. At this point it is well worth taking a brief detour west following the standing stones to a substantial cairn, the westernmost of two large cairns that stand 1.6 kilometres apart on the ridge. This is knowns to archaeologists as Cú Chulainn’s House’, although locals refer to this western cairn as ‘Cú Chulainn’s Grave’. While ‘Cú Chulainn’ is tumoured to have been buried in many sites around Ireland, the people of Annascaul believe this to be his true resting place. Return east to rejoin the ridge, which seperated the Annascaul valley from Glanteenassig, follwing a line of standing stones that lead to a buried wall marking the boundary between the parishes of Killiney and Ballinboher. The wall follows the ridge, running parallel to a well-worn route that brings you to the second cairn on the eastern end of the ridge at Dromavally Mountain.
From here head southeast to the col. While it may be tempting to turn north from here, this valley is best avoided due to an access problem. Instead, ascend the gradual slope southeast for roughly 50m to reach a wire fence and follow the fence east as far as Knocknakilton(407m). Looking directly south from Knocknakilton you can see Inch Strand and Castlemaine harbour, however your route is North. Follow the wire fence through the col and up on the steep ground to Cummeen( 477m). From this vantage point looking west you get a good view of Beenoskee, Stradbally and Glanteenassig. Looking north you can see Castlegregory, Tralee Bay and the Seven Hogs( The Maharee Islands).
Descend Cummeen by its Northern spur, on the western side of Lough Acummeen, until you reach the road. Follow the road back to the starting point in the Glanteenassig lower car park.