26 Be Our Guest CARRAUNTOOHIL MT, KERRY (1,039 METRES) Ireland’s highest mountain is ideal for any experienced hiker while it will also offer a nice challenge for intermediate walkers who feel ready to take the next step in difficulty. The mountain has three main routes, The Devil’s Ladder, O’Shea’s Gully and Caher routes. The Devil’s Ladder route has been the most the popular path of the three but because of this, the path has become eroded in parts so caution is advised. At a height of 1,039 metres, a hike could take up to six hours depending on fitness and experience but you will be served with breath-taking views of Hag’s Glen as you ascend. With the condition of the Devil’s Ladder route in decline, O’Shea’s Gully has become a popular alternative. This route is a loop trail and should take a similar time to complete but is considered an easier path than the Devil’s Ladder. The Caher Route, although strenuous, is probably the safest of the three paths on Carrauntoohil and may suit first time climbers with a decent level of fitness. Carrauntoohil should not be tackled alone and those with a low level of experience should contact a walking guide. TORC MOUNTAIN, KERRY (535 METRES) Torc Mountain in Killarney brings a magnificent simplicity with it. There are few hikes in the South where you can walk a small segment of a trail and still leave feeling exhilarated. What allows Torc Mountain to do this is the elegant Torc Waterfall that nestles nearer the base of the mountain. If a couple of hours of tracking isn’t your thing then take the shorter trip and relax beneath this peaceful waterfall. However, if you have some energy to burn then Torc Mountain is ideal for any level of walker. Altogether a return hike could comfortably be done in two hours but the slowest part will be when you stop to take in the vast surroundings of Killarney National Park and Lakes at the summit. COMERAGH MOUNTAIN, WATERFORD (792 METRES) The Comeragh Mountains provide one of the most varied walks available in the South of the country. You can take in the full Coumshingaun LoopWalk, which will provide you with a magnificent view from the top of a natural amphitheatre looking down onto the blissful Coumshingaun Corrie Lake, the walk will also give you an opportunity to take in the Mahon Falls on your way. If you don’t have the head for heights, the relatively short trek to the Coumshingaun Corrie Lake will offer you a chance to take in one of the calmest spots in the county and provide you with a view from the base of the mountain unlike anything you have witnessed before. This is a true hidden gem of the South.