Cronin's Yard Loop
8 kilometre signposted trail
|Uphill on the right hand arm of the loop.
Carrauntoohil ahead on the right.
For over 300 years, Cronin’s Yard has been used as the traditional starting point for ascents of Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil. Situated at the entrance to the Hag’s Glen at Mealis, Beaufort, this is the gateway to the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and the ideal base from which to explore the surrounding countryside.
One of the marked walks you can access from here is the Cronin's Yard 8 kms loop. It is of moderate difficulty over stony gravelly paths and mountain tracks and you'll need a basic level of fitness and the proper gear of course.
You'll have some terrific views including, at all times, Ireland's highest mountain. Two to two and a half hours is the estimated time. But, on a very hot day, we took our own time and I'd say we were three and half from start to finish and enjoyed it very much indeed.
Much more info, including detailed map, here. Here too you'll find directions to the yard itself!
Cronin's charge a modest two euro for parking and use of toilets. They have a café here with indoor and outdoor seating and a menu that offers sandwiches, toasties, home baking, home-made soup, hot chocolate, coffee, and teas (including herbal). They also sell souvenirs, T-shirts, maps, books and postcards.
|Rock on. Carrauntoohil ahead in centre
|Crossing a stile on way up on left hand side of loop
|Loop is well marked
|River bed and Carrauntoohil
|Sky's the limit in the mountains!
|On the lower slopes
|Hills to the left on the way up on left hand side of loop
|River bed on way down
|Looking back while on the way up (on left hand side)
|You won't have to climb this rocky edge!