A glance at a relief map of Kerry will show at
once the ruggedness of this coastal county, with its reeks and
ridges and spiny peninsulas stretching out into the ocean. Contour
lines crowd together and dark shadings tell that most of the land
is at a high level above the sea. But it is not all like this.
Stretching north from Tralee to the mouth of the Shannon is an
area that is markedly different from the general turmoil of hills
and deep valleys. Proudly proclaiming itself North Kerry, it is
not exactly a plain but its heights are gentle and undulating and
its economy is vibrantly pastoral. It is here you will find the
Trail described in this Site.
The North Kerry Way -"Slí Chiarraí
Thuaidh" in Irish - is one of Ireland's long-distance
pathways approved by the National Waymarked Ways Committee. Its
total length is 48 km (near enough to 29 miles). Average walkers
should find little difficulty in completing it in two days, but it
can be broken up into shorter stages.
The starting point is near the Tourist Office in
the Ashe Hall, Denny Street, Tralee. From here, the Way goes
through the Town Park, on to the bank of an old ship canal, past
Blennerville and by a sea wall to the Spa. A country road then
brings the walker to a splendid firm beach that is followed
through Banna right into Ballyheigue. The nature of the terrain
changes here as the path traverses the low hills of Kerry Head and
loops back to finish at Ballyheigue.
There is infinite variety on this walk with the
Atlantic Ocean always in sight, sometimes a mile or so away, but
more often at one's feet. The landscape is uncluttered and there
is everywhere a feeling of space and great openness, with vistas
to the horizons. It is a journey to be enjoyed at any time of
year, each season bringing its own charm and freshness.