A Secluded Forest Park with Walking Trails That Offer Spectacular Views of Lakes, Woodlands, and Mountains
Glanteenassig Woods is one of the many beautiful landscapes in Ireland. Sprawling over more than 1,100 acres of land, Glanteenassig – or the valley of waterfalls – is a mixture of all kinds of scenic beauty.
From waterfalls and lakes to woodlands and mountains, Glanteenassig Wood is a little secret gem hidden in a valley of the Slieve Mish mountains.
These woods, which are home to Spruce, Pine, Oak, Mountain Ash, Alder, and Holly, offer the perfect getaway to be at one with nature. Visitors can choose from three marked loop walks to explore the woods, depending on the time your willing to spend.
This trail is moderately difficult and covers less than 2 km. It can take a little more than an hour to finish. The planks are finished with wire mesh to ensure enhanced safety on the walkway. Unfortunately, it is not wheelchair-friendly.
Anyone can attempt this trail; it covers less than 0.4 km and takes around 10 minutes to complete. It is wheelchair-friendly. (Lough Slat)
This trail is again easy for everyone. It covers a little less than 1 km and takes around 20 minutes to complete.
Rain-gear and comfortable walking shoes are a must when visiting Glanteenassig. You can also carry water and a refreshing drink or maybe even a light snack, depending on how long you plan to stay. There are plenty of picnic tables around the forest.
All the trails have several viewing points so you can stop and enjoy the landscape. When in Glanteenassig, the typical landscape comprises dramatic cliffs and lakes visible through dense woods. While you can be sure of breathtaking scenery no matter which trail you take, some of the best views, in my opinion, are Lough Caum & Lough Slat:
At the edge of Lough Slat:
From the first car park, drive up the hill until you get to a T junction. This is where the second car park is. Turn left and travel 800 m to the third car park.
This car park can accommodate up to 10 cars. After a little more than 200 m from the car park, you will reach the edge of the lake from where you can see the dramatic cliffs of Carrigaspanai.
At the edge of Lough Caum:
Drive up from Lough Slat car park to reach the upper car park. Here you will find the boardwalk around the majestic Lough Caum. The walk along the lake offers spectacular panoramic views of the valley.
Glanteenassig also has an 8 km forest trail for those who wish to spend more time. As a family or a group, the trail offers a great secluded reprieve on a day with good weather.
Glanteenassig is a paradise for those who like freshwater fishing. Game fishers will enjoy spending time at Lough Slat and Lough Caum (home to small wild brown trout and rainbow trout). You will need a permit, which you get from Cloghane, and the shores offer plenty of fishing spots.
Camping is not allowed in Glanteenassig; the park’s gates are closed at night time. There are many caravans and camp parks nearby where you can stay. They are at Camp and the Maherees. I would recommend:
Green Acres Caravan and Camping Park
Clean, spacious, bang on the beach, family, and child friendly (with playground, football, and basketball amenities)
Anchor Caravan Park
Short walk to Maharees Blue Flag Beach (no beach view), clean, and compact (space between caravans is a little small)
Both are exceptionally well maintained but strict in terms of rules. While most people enjoy their stay, it is a good idea to check the rules beforehand to avoid any surprises.
Where to Park
The four-car parks at Glanteenassig (lower, 2 middle, and upper) are intended to allow visitors to opt for short or long walks, depending on your time and physical fitness. I recommend you skip the lower car park and opt for the last car park beside Lough Caum instead.
How to Reach Glanteenassig Forest
Glanteenassig Forest Park is about 4.5 km off the R560. It will be sign-posted on the left.
From Tralee (29 km / 30 min)
Take the N86 out of Tralee and continue straight on the R560; then turn left at Aughacasla to leave the R560.
From Dingle (29 km / 40 min)
You should go the Conor Pass route because the scenic views are quite spectacular. Take the R550 route out of Dingle and travel for 23 km until you reach R560. Go past the signpost directing you down to Castlegregory village.
Keep on the road to Aughacasla. Turn right off the R560 and head up for 4.5 km to Glanteenassig.
Please note when you turn off the R560, the road gets very narrow. Take care and extreme caution as you will often see sheep lying in the middle of the road.
Much like many places in Ireland, Glanteenassig is a marvelous display of natural beauty in a secluded setting. While I would recommend it for everyone, visiting the forest park makes the most sense for those who have a few hours to spare and are around Castlegregory, Dingle, or Tralee.
If you are a beach lover but can’t go due to unfavorable weather, opt to visit Glanteenassig instead – I guarantee you will not be disappointed.