It's that time of year again - everyone's favourite annual hiking event is back and it's all systems go in preparation for the big event in West Cork.
The Sheep’s Head Way is one of the most remote parts of Ireland, well-known for its laid-back way of life, friendly people and breath-taking scenery.
So whether you're already an intrepid trekker or want to try it for the very first time, taking part in the Sheep's Head Hike is a great way to raise money for our global neighbours and challenge yourself at the same time.
The annual Sheep's Head Hike has raised tens of thousands of pounds for our work to continue in communities throughout the world that are living in poverty. Let's set a challenge as we celebrate the hikes 11th anniversary - let's surpass all previous fundraising efforts!
It's down to the support of local people that the Sheep's Head Hike has reached its eleventh anniversary’
Additional new route
The Sheep's Head Hike caters for all levels of walkers, pick what's right for your ability. This year we have introduced a new less demanding route for those who wish to support our work. All walking routes will be lead by local guides.
Route A (hike)
Begining at Finn McCool’s seat on the Goat’s Path road 2 km north of Kilcrohane. From here hike to the summit of Seefin at 345m, which is the highest point on the Sheep’s Head peninsula. From Seefin hike eastwards along the ridge taking in views of both Bantry Bay and the Beara peninsula to the north and Dunmanus Bay and the Mizen peninsula to the South. At Gortnakilly the route heads south joining the Baran route taking in Rosskerrig Mountain and the Windy Gap. Hikers will descend to the Military road and follow the trail for approximately 2Km before crossing the road and heading for Farranamanagh Lake - Land of the Monks, passing house ruins, part of a Bardiac School run by the O’Dalys. The hike then leads along the shores of the lake before heading back to the village and completion of the hike.
Total walking distance is approximately 10km and will take in the region of 4 hours. Route A is a strenuous walk and walking boots must be worn by all participants.
Route B (walk)
From the Kilcrohane community hall walk in a northeasterly direction passing the Church on the left and over the bridge, following the Red arrows and main SHW yellow man markers, at marker no. 404 turn right off the main public road entering farmland. Continue on downhill to Farranamanagh strand and lake walking beyond these and on uphill on rough ground beyond the Bardic School, continue on to meet the main public road, turn left to arrive at Dromnea car park, way marker no. 425. Here walkers can return directly to Kilcorhane village via the public road or continue on the loop by climbing the old stone stile to the left of the gate across the road. Continue on uphill until walkers reach way marker no. 92 on the old Kilcrohane/Ahakista road. Continue straight on again until reaching way marker no. 01, veer left here for Kilcrohane and continue on again in a southwesterly direction. At way marker no. 10 follow the road down until you meet the main road. Take a right turn and the main road will lead back to Kilcrohane village.
Route C (stroll)
Walkers will be transported by coach to the junction near the village of Ahakista - the trail begins on the Ahakista Stone Circle Walk junction. Participants will walk along the ascending pathway for a short distance to join the flat old Famine road known as the Military road. The trail continues for approximately 2km, leading past the Old Poet’s Well, close to Barbaric School and joins the main road. Passing Dromnea and onwards back to Kilcrohane, the trail passes the church and arrives back at the Community Hall. (This a very easy walking route with no major challenges. It is flat terrain however, walking boots must be worn by all participants.)
Walkers are advised to bring appropriate walking shoes, walking clothes (no jeans), a raincoat, something to drink and a sandwich. We also advise bringing an extra change of clothes in case of heavy rain.
For those who have not registered online prior to the event, registration is available on the day at 11.00am for Route A and 11:30pm for the Route B at the Kilcrohane Community Centre.
Route A will commence at 11:45am, Route B will commence at 12:00pm, Route C will commence at 12:00pm.
Rural transport coaches will be in operation to transport participants taking part in Route A to the starting point of the hike. Participants for Route B and C will depart from the community hall by foot.
All walkers are welcomed back to the Kilcrohane Community Centre for a BBQ sponsored by Drinagh Co-Op/ Spar Supermarket, Skibbereen and tea, coffee, soft drinks, soups and sandwiches which will be kindly supplied by local sponsor The Gourmet Grill.
To save time on the day, we encourage participants to pre-register however on-the-day registration is available from 10am at Kilcrohane community Hall.