Camp – Annascaul Lake – Minard – Bothar na gCloch
This 60K route in west Kerry is for for the adventure seeker who wants to do something a little out of the norm. It seeks to take you away from the main roads for the majority of the cycle to allow you to explore a little more of what the Dingle peninsula has to offer. It includes some climbing as well as areas of scenery and beauty that you will find it hard not to stop and look at and listen to.
The Old bog road (alternative to Gleann na nGealt) as soon as you are leaving Camp
Bóthar na gCloch (S-N) [/one_third_last]
Places en Route
Annascaul, Minard, Inch
8 out of 10[/one_third]
Area of Kerry
The majority of this route is in good condition on tarred roads. However the nature of this route seeks out some less travelled roads so be conscious of the surface as there are one or two rough spots, in particular the approach to Annascaul Lake. This route is very accessible on a racing bike.
The cycle begins in Camp and heads in the direction of Annascaul. There are two options here, one is to follow the main road (N86) directly into Annascaul up the climb of Gleann na nGealt. Alternatively you can reach the same summit as nGleann na nGealt by following a shorter route called the Old Bog Road which follows part of the Dingle Way route. The Old Bog Road climb is steeper than the main road but the payoff lies in the views of Tralee Bay behind you at the summit. Descending into Annascaul you will have 16K cycled and should by now be warmed up. Have a look at the route map below to see how the Old Bog Road was accessed.
If you have the time to explore I would recommend taking a little detour at Annascaul by taking a right in the village and following signs for Annascaul Lake. It is about a 8k return detour to the lake and the road surface disimproves slightly however the scenery and tranquility at the lake side is well worth a stop.
From Annascaul continue along the signposted route towards Dingle until you will soon see a turn off to the left for Inch (R561). Very soon after this turn there the second detour option of the day. An immediate right after the turn of for Inch will bring you up and down a rolling road and onto Minard where you can see Minard Castle in all it’s splendour. Continuing on past the Castle will bring you back out onto the main N86 road where you can again follow the signposts for inch. This optional loop around Minard probably adds 10K onto the cycle but for anyone wanting to get the best of this area it is hard to pass up.
At the famous Inch Beach there is a café there and it it a good time to stop and refuel at the 45K mark before the last leg of your journey. Leaving Inch continue along the R561 for about 8k where you should see a left turn signposted for Camp. Please note that there is a earlier signpost for Camp immediately after Inch (which is a handy shortcut but not being covered by this route guide). Turning left at the 52K mark you will begin a gradual incline up Bothar na gCloch which has a 9% average gradient for approximately 3K. A narrow road but well surfaced and a very manageable climb with a compact chainset. If you don’t have a compact chainset then the climb will have to be managed with a bit of grit or a walk for a few meters towards the summit.
At the summit of Bothar na gCloch caution is warranted as there is an immediate very sharp descent of approximately 200m followed by a gradual descent back in the direction of Camp. Please note there is a fork in the road on the descent but both options will get you back to Camp.
This route contains a mixture of main and secondary roads so traffic is as to be expected on those. However expect them to be a lot quieter off the main roads with just the odd vehicle from experience.
Annascaul and Inch both would both be recommended as food and drink stops on this route. There is a shop in Camp for a bit of grub on the return aswell if you need it.