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The Gap/Kerry Way

Horicon, Wisconsin
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The Gap/Kerry Way

Now that I have the stick situation settled, I have another question concerning The Kerry Way.

Most of the routes for The Way show a start in Killarney, going around the lake by Torc, then on to Black Valley for the first night's stay and then on to Glencar.

Here's what I'm thinking. Catch a ride to Kate's Cottage, hike The Gap and then go through Black Valley and on to Glencar for the first night. It would be a long day but we're up to it. We hiked The Gap last year and way overestimated how long it would take us. We ended up sitting and waiting for the boat back to town for what seemed like forever. We drank a few Irish coffees, so it wasn't a total loss. The boat ride was a bit blurry, though.

Does this sound like a good plan? Any general suggestions for the hike would also be appreciated.

Cork, Ireland
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1. Re: The Gap/Kerry Way

The Kerry Way has substantial parts that are a lot harder than the Gap of Dunloe. I hiked the section from Lough Acoose up to the ridge below Caher Mountain a few weeks ago. There were large parts of rough, steep ascent, which are almost worse going down. The round trip took close to 2 1/2 hours.

I would allow at least 12 hours of walking if you are going to do the Gap of Dunloe, Black Valley, Bridia Valley and onto Glencar in one day. Add to that the time you need to stop for breaks.

If you do it and get a fine day, you'll have seen the Ring of Kerry in a massively better way than people who see it fly by from a bus, but be aware how long you will be walking.

There is a B&B by Lough Acoose if you feel you want to skip the last hour of walking.

Horicon, Wisconsin
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2. Re: The Gap/Kerry Way

Thanks. I figured it would be a long day. You wouldn't happen to know how many miles that would be, would you?

I'm having trouble finding a good resource online for mapping The Way on my own. There are plenty of pre-marked maps but not much in the way of interactive maps. I've ordered the appropriate OS maps of the area, so hopefully they'll de-mystify it a little.

Thanks again.

Cork, Ireland
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3. Re: The Gap/Kerry Way

My guide says it's 21km from the Black Valley Church to Glencar. Google Maps says 9km from Kate Kearney's cottage to the church. You can probably subtract a kilometre because you will be able to turn onto the Kerry Way without going to the church, but you're still looking at close to 30km (18 miles).

Horicon, Wisconsin
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4. Re: The Gap/Kerry Way

Whew, that's a haul.

Probably need three pints to get me through that one!

Thanks for the info, blackgreen. Looks like I have a little rerouting to do. One online map shows a path (listed as "unmarked") that cuts due west to the south of that big mountain (sorry, can't remember how to spell it) straight into Glencar that would remove significant mileage.

Wonder what my chances of finding it are?

Horicon, Wisconsin
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5. Re: The Gap/Kerry Way

Sorry, I made a mistake. I'm suffering from CMS (crappy map syndrome).

The "rough path" cuts across south of Lough Acoose and rejoins the Way just north of Glencar.

Seen on this map as red dashed line. Any thoughts about using this to shave some mileage?

irishtrails.ie/maps/…20Glencar.pdf

Cork, Ireland
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6. Re: The Gap/Kerry Way

If it's the route I'm thinking of, you shouldn't have trouble finding it. The Kerry Way joins the public road for a short distance in the Bridia Valley. You just stay on the road instead of taking the turn for the footpath over the mountain ridge.

I'm not sure you save any real distance using that route, but the walk is substantially easier (that walk over the mountain ridge is the hardest part of the Kerry Way that I have walked). You could save a couple of hours, even if you don't save distance.

Cork, Ireland
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7. Re: The Gap/Kerry Way

You can probably discount my last answer as it was given to post 4, but based on a misunderstanding.

I don't remember noticing that path and I did walk the main path in the last three weeks. Then again, I wasn't looking for it.

As you come down the valley towards Lough Acoose, there's a farmhouse. The farmer there was quite helpful in giving advice about the walking trail, so if he's out and about, you may get an opportunity to ask. I'm not sure it would be appropriate to call to the door looking for advice.

Again, that might not be faster. Once you pass the farmhouse, you are on a road that is suitable for vehicles, so you'll make faster progress than cutting across rough terrain.

It might also depend on where you're staying in Glencar. If it's Lough Acoose House, you'd overshoot if you used that path.

Horicon, Wisconsin
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8. Re: The Gap/Kerry Way

Good info. Thanks again. You've been a big help and if I see you over there the first round's mine.

I'm a bit suspicious of the "rough path" on the map I linked to. As Gandalf said, "Short cuts make long delays." I've found this to be true on more than one occasion. Also, cutting trail isn't usually a good idea in regards to the local environment. So-called "social trails" tend to tear up vegetation and hasten erosion.

9. Re: The Gap/Kerry Way

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