Case Study: Kerry Way, Ireland
By Sam Demas with advice from Patricia Deane, Rural Recreation Officer
Purpose, methodology, and notes
These case studies are building blocks towards a broader “Country Study” examining long distance walking in Ireland. The intent of the case studies is to paint a picture of the most salient features of each walk and to delve somewhat into operational details. The idea is that in looking across these case studies a broader national picture will emerge.
Trip Report: Kerry Way
Overview: The Kerry Way affords beautiful coastal views, passes through upland moors and bucolic agricultural areas, and passes under Ireland’s highest mountain and one if its most spectacular mountains ranges, the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks. The full Kerry Way is 130 miles long, beginning at Killarney and proceeding inland towards Glenbeigh, after which the trail generally follows at a distance the shoreline of the Inervagh Peninsula and circles back to Killarney. Walkers usually allow 9 or more days for the full walk, though it can be done more quickly by very strong walkers. Having only four days for this walk, I cut out certain sections and hitch-hiked ahead to get a sense of the range of terrains covered. This was a research trip so I stopped fairly often to talk with people who work on the trail. The trail passes many villages and accommodations are plentiful.