The famous River Lee – has two main channels and this sometimes confuses both visitors and locals alike.
 
The River Lee rises in Gougane Barra (Translation: Finbarrs Rocky Place) which is in the beautiful area of the Shehy Mountains.   These mountains are located about 50 miles west of Cork City and the area is   without doubt worth a visit if time allows while you are visiting Cork.  
The drive towards Gougane Barra is really beautiful and takes in the wonderful Lee Valley which remains completely unspoiled and natural.
 
At Gougane Barra some of the sources of the Lee (there are many) have been carefully signposted by the forest management company.   You will see references to ‘An Laoi’ which is the irish spelling of ‘The Lee’
 
However be aware that once the river Lee arrives just west of Cork city it splits into two channels and hence flows around the city centre.   In fact this split happens just behind the Kingsley Hotel on the Western Road.
 
The two channels are called the North and South Channels respectively.
Described in this article is how to know which channel you are at by either the street, Quay, bridge or other landmark you happen to be near.
 

NORTH CHANNEL

Travelling from West to East.
Sundays Well Road ,  ( Daly Foot Bridge , aka Shakey Bridge)
Mardyke Walk ,
North Mall and Bachelors Quay (Gate Cinema), linked by North Gate Bridge aka Griffith Bridge)
Kyrls Quay, Coal Quay , and Popes Quay linked by Shandon foot bridge.
Lavitts Quay and Camden Quay linked by Christy Ring Bridge   (Christy Ring was a very famous Cork Hurler)
Merchants Quay and St.Patricks Quay linked by St Patricks Bridge
Andersons Quay and Penrose Quay linked by both Brian Boru bridge and also Michael Collins Bridge (beside Jurys Inn)
 
Shortly after Michael Collins Bridge the two channels once again meet up as one.
 

SOUTH CHANNEL

Travelling from West to East
Western Road ( O’Donovans Bridge ) Right beside main gate to UCC
Lancaster Quay ( Saint Finbarres Brige over river to Appartments)
Wandesford Street and Washington Street linked by Clarkes Bridge
Probys Quay and Sullivans Quay linked by South Gate Bridge
Sullivans Quay linked to Grand Parade by a footbridge
Sullivans Quay and Georges Quay linked to South Mall by Parliament Bridge
Georges Quay and Union Quay linked to Fr. Matthew Quay and Morrisons Quay by a footbridge
Union Quay linked to South Mall by Parnell Bridge
Terence McSweeney Quay and Albert Quay linked to Lapps Quay by Clontarf Bridge
Albert Quay linked to Custom House Quay and Lapps Quay by Eamon De Valera Bridge .
 
Shortly after Eamon De Valera Bridge the two channels once again meet up as one.