and take your place among the nations of the earth.
The famous slogan which was headlined on a banner carried by proud supporters of Charles Stewart Parnell from Knocknagoshel who marched to Newcastlewest in 1891. Full story.
What a great slogan and words that have been immortalised for well over a century.
Certainly, the first word ARISE in the slogan is something that rings very true when cycling to this out-post of east Kerry. There’s no escaping the fact that you are going to need your climbing legs to get to Knocknagoshel.
Don’t let that put you off though because the climbs aren’t too severe, the roads are quiet and the countryside quite stunning.
Off the top of my head I can think of at least 3 ways to get to Knocknagoshel from Tralee which all involve a certain amount of climbing. Our route took us out the back door of Tralee via Clash Industrial estate, past the Tralee Racecourse, the ogham stones at Chute Hall and on towards the tiny village of Cloghers. A left turn before the aforementioned village takes you towards the historic Glanageenty woodland area.
From this area the climbing starts proper with a gentle climb through the forest. The narrow road cuts through the woodland and rises as the road runs along the top of the broadleaf and conifer trees. Once out of the wooded area we continue to rise as the river valley down to the right becomes more apparent. Cross the L1026 road that links Castleisland to Listowel and enter a mysterious and quiet area of Kerry that heads towards Lickeen west and Meenganaire. An area of little dwelling, forestry and bog-land. A left turn into Meenganaire sees the landscape open up a little and hit an incline. The roads in these parts of Kerry are quiet and nature has very much the upper hand. The surrounding area is that of rolling hills and greenery as far as the eye can see.
Eventually there’s a break to the climbing as the road at first cascades down quite sharply before a gentler descent into Talbots Bridge. Here you will spot the Knocknagoshel shooting grounds and the local GAA sports ground. The village centre lies up the hill to the north.
The village is actually quite well hidden off the Dan Paddy Andy to Abbeyfeale road. A steepish climb uncovers a small but tidy village with a main street, a church two or three pubs and a local shop towards the far end of the village. We stopped at Kieran’s XL shop and although basic enough, it extends a friendly welcome from the host Kieran as well as an atmospheric charm. Tea, coffee, scones and cakes are all available here and more than welcome as we were hit by a cold rain shower five minutes before our break.
On departing we continued in a now westerly direction. This road out of the village leads down to the main road back to Tralee via Dan Paddy Andy cross. Here the terrain is undulating working both for and against the cyclists but with nothing any worse than what we have encountered so far on the ride.
The main climb back to Tralee is from the Dan Paddy Andy cross (roads lead to Castleisland, Abbeyfeale, Listowel and Tralee from here) up to Reamore and the now largely redundant Kerry landfill. The ride back to Tralee (13 km approx.), though mainly downhill still requires some work, especially with a stiff breeze blowing in from Tralee Bay.
Don’t let any of that put you off though, as the most of the descent affords views of the Tralee bay, Fenit, Sliabh Mish and Brandon mountain ranges as well as The Gap of Dunloe and the Reeks mountains to the south.
- Distance – 61 km
- Climbing – 738 metre
- Highlight – Cycling through Glanageenty | Overall very quiet from vehicles
- Tip – Not the easiest route to navigate. Be well prepared with your route notes or gps