Each of these three trails starts at Cullenagh Carpark. To get there take the L4609 from Castle Street out of Dunmanway and follow the road signs for the Pipe Hill Trails. After 7km turn left and follow the L4611 road for 5km as far as Cullenagh Lake carpark.
Walk 1Distance: 23 km, Time: 5 – 7 hours, Category: Hard Nowen Hill at 530 metres O.D. is the highest point in the Dunmanway area. This walk starts among forestry and follows the road in a north-easterly direction turning left at Farnanes crossroad and passing a Standing Stone on the left just over the bridge. Standing Stones are thought to be ancient burial sites and are found in every county in Ireland. Follow the road northwards and then westwards with a gradual climb to reach the top of Barraboy where a splendid view of the Mealagh Valley and Bantry Bay can be enjoyed. Descending into the Mealagh Valley the route turns left at Mealagh Bridge and left again at Barnagullane to follow the steep winding ascent between the twin peaks of Mullaghmesha and Dirreenacrinnig. This ascent is rewarded with a magnificent view over the rolling hills of West Cork. The road descends sharply to pass beside the majestic Donovan Castle, seat of the Donovan Clan up to the sixteenth century. Turning left soon after the road leads through the pasturelands of Leitry with its Standing Stones and Stone Circles, and left again to reach the starting point overlooking the tranquil Cullenagh Lake.
Walk 2Distance: 9 km, Time: 2.5 – 3 hours, Category: Moderate This walk starts again at Cullenagh Lake and takes in Coolkelure, Dromdrastil and Cullenagh. It is entirely over tarred country roads. The route passes through the picturesque setting of Coolkelure with its tranquil Lake and Coolkelure House surrounded by rhododendron hedges. St. Edmund’s Church with its stained glass windows and Coolkelure lodge nearby are set in the most peaceful and tranquil surroundings.
Walk 3Distance: 3 km, Time: 0.5 – 1 hours, Category: Easy Walk 3 is the shortest of the three Nowen Hill Trail walks. This encompasses Annees Bridge and is classed as an easy walk for those who wish to avoid any strenuous climbing. Part of this walk is through forest paths and marshland so waterproof footwear is recommended.
Each of these three trails starts at Coolmountain Crossroads, a short distance from Coolmountain Bridge. To get there take the L4609 from Castle Street out of Dunmanway and follow the road signs for the Pipe Hill Trails. After 8km turn right onto the R585 and at Togher crossroads (1km) turn left onto the L8542 road. Follow this road for almost 3km to reach Coolmountain Crossroads. Please note that each of these routes is also suitable for cycling as each is on quiet country roads with little heavy traffic.