Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gougane Barra Forest Park (Guágan Barra)

Open KML file to view the hiking trails of Gougane Barra in Google Earth!

Gougane Barra Forest Park is located in the Shehy Mountains, 20 km southwest of Ballingeary in County Cork. The backdrop of rugged hills, dark pine forests and tranquil Gougane Barra Lake (Lough an Ghugain) create a unique atmosphere of magical calmness - thus making the area a haven for hikers!

There is a tiny island in the lake with an isolated chapel dating from the 19th century. Against the wild scenery of Gougane Barra, the chapel appears even more iconic and consequently it is one of the most photographed sites in County Cork. The chapel is accessible via a narrow causeway linking the island with the shore. River Lee (An Laoi) rises near Gougane Barra, flows through the lake and continues to Cork Harbour where it eventually empties.

In 1966 the area was named as Ireland's first national park. The name Gougane Barra derives from St. Finbarr (Barra in Irish, the patron saint of Cork), who is said to have built his monastery on the island in the lake in the 6th century, and means "Barra's retreat enclosed by mountains".
The forest park offers six hiking trails of different levels and some of them are leading to picturesque waterfalls and viewpoints:
  • Slí Ghaorthaidh, 0.5 hrs, multi-access (i.e. suitable for wheelchairs and buggies)
  • Slí Com Rua, 10 mins, moderate
  • Slí Doire Na Coise, 1.15 hrs, moderate
  • Slí Laoi, 1 hr, moderate
  • Slí An Easa, 1 hr, strenous
  • Slí Sleibhe, 1.45 hrs, strenous

View Gougane Barra Forest Park in a larger map


Anonymous said...

Couldnt agree more with that, very attractive article

Anonymous said...

What a great web log. I spend hours on the net reading blogs, about tons of various subjects. I have to first of all give praise to whoever created your theme and second of all to you for writing what i can only describe as an fabulous article. I honestly believe there is a skill to writing articles that only very few posses and honestly you got it. The combining of demonstrative and upper-class content is by all odds super rare with the astronomic amount of blogs on the cyberspace.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for a related topic, your site came up, it looks good.