The Heather Walk is a 9.3 km short distance walk, starting and finishing in the village of Coppeen. The route comprises entirely of way marked roadways, mostly quiet country routes, apart from the last section which is along a short stretch of main road. The walk rises a distance of 150 meters at points on the route, and then descends back into the village, where parking and other amenities are available.
The entire route is marked by signage posts; this route in particular being the Heather route and is marked by purple arrows.
OS Map 86
Coppeen Village W 31 7 60 4
This walk leaves the village at the old Post Office & gently ascends uphill for a little more than. ½ Klm. A viewing point here (forestry plantation on each side) gives a wonderful panoramic view including; (South) Corran Hill, Carrigfadda, Nowen Hill, Shehy, Carrantuohill, Mangerton, The Paps, & Mullaghanish. The road then meanders along towards a four cross road junction (Slieveowen) where you walk straight on up the hill. At a State Forestry roadway on the right, is the pathway to “Labbaowen” a wedge tomb, which is fighting for survival among the spruce trees. Access to & enhancement of this fine site is underway by CAHCS. Approx. 300 mtrs further on, on your right you can see a fine boulder burial. The large round stone has several cupmarks on its upper face.
Ignore a cul de sac on your right (a signage post directs you, just in case) A fairly level route takes you to the next crossroads; turn right here. (Tarelton village is approx 1 klm to the left) Take a rest at the top of the hill (Barna) which is about 100 mtrs from the junction. Here you have a most splendid view, almost 360° around you. The hills of West Cork, Kerry, North Cork, & on a clear day Cork City & the Knockmealdowns, right around to the southern costal areas are all very visible.
When (An ideal place for a picnic) rested, proceed along southwards along a pleasant relatively level road, plenty of heather to your left. Then you descend Renacahera hill, crossing the River Bride, keep straight at little road to right into Munigave. Looking to your left you´ll see Gurranareigh & Greenhill with a valley sweeping down to the River Bride. Turn right at next junction, which ascends beyond forestry on right, looking across towards Lackanashinnagh on your left. Great view from the top of the hill: east to Cork airport & west to Shehy. From here on it´s mostly downhill towards Coppeen village (Cross´s Forge last house on left – five generations of smiths traded here) Take great care as you walk along a short stretch of main road back into the village, admiring the wonderful view to the west. A call to “An Caipín” will serve to dampen your thirst & satisfy your culinary desires.
This route takes you past sites of historcal interest, including boulder burials, ringforts, wedge tombs, standing stones, & fullacht fia sites. Just beyond the first crossroads at Slieveowen, through a state forestry roadway can be found the wedge tomb “Labbaowen” (Not easily located, but CAHCS is working to remedy this) A minutes walk further on, on your right is a fine specimen of a Boulder Burial with cupmarks on its upper face. Having crossed the River Bride, on your right is a ringfort. As you proceed southwards, if you look carefully to your left (southeast), you can see another ringfort in the valley in the distance beside the River Bride. Cross´s Forge (now closed) is the last homestead on the left as you reach the main road. Five generations of the Cross family carried on the trade here. The old smithy is one of the best preserved of its type in West Cork.