The Dingle Peninsula is famous for its walks, but rarely do the guide books mention this little hidden jewel near Camp, Glanteenassig Forest.
Glanteenassig is a 450 ha. area of woodland, mountain, lake and peatland nestling in a sheltered valley among the Slieve Mish mountains.
As you follow the road toward Glentenassig, it narrows and seems endless, going nowhere, and you're sure you've gotten lost, but soon enough you come upon this national forest, on a mountainside, complete with a lake which has a board-walk encircling it, and as you continue further up the mountainside, you soon reach the top and are rewarded with beautiful views.
It is a little secret, and a visit there makes for a rewarding morning or afternoon outing.
To reach it the visitor must step off the beaten track, travel up the valley and feel the remoteness of the mountains. Behind the trees the area abounds with streams, lakes, waterfalls and dramatic cliffs which characterise this untamed landscape.
The wood is approached through a small grove of beech between the entrance and a bridge that spans the Owencashla river. Just over the bridge is a car park.
The forest, typical of those which were established in the 1950's and 60's consists mainly of Sitka spruce and Lodgepole pine. However, there are some pockets of silver fir, larch and beech in the more sheltered areas and some native species such as birch, alder, and holly. As areas mature and are clear felled much of the spruces are being replaced with larch, alder and Mountain ash in keeping with the primeval forests that once colonised the area.
The first opportunity to experience the beauty of Glanteenassig is about 1.2 km from the car park. Just after crossing a wooden bridge, take a left along the trail to the shore of Lough Slat. This quiet and serene lake nestles below the imposing hill of Doon and the majestic rock face of Carrigaspanaig.
This scene can be even more dramatic after heavy rain when "a thousand wild fountains rush down to that lake from their home in the mountains". It is easy to understand the origin of the name Glanteenassig or Gleann Ti an Easaigh which translates to the Valley of the Waterfalls. Back to the forest road and take the trail to the right which leads the visitor up along the bank of the river Owencashla and back on to the road again.
Continue along the road to a T junction, take a left and after 100 metres you are on the shores of Lough Caum with a board walk right around the lake. This lake is a trout angler's paradise. From here the landscape opens up to a 360 degree vista of mountain, forest, lake and valley.
Retrace your steps from here back to the T junction and continue on over a ford on the infant river travelling east for about 600 metres when suddenly the whole of Tralee bay with the Stack's mountains in the background comes into view.
As well as the 3 way marked trails there is about 8 km of forest road in this block of forest. This provides the ideal location for a long hike or for a family cycle. Although remote, Glanteenassig is only about 6 km from the sandy beaches at Castlegregory thus providing the perfect diversion for the holiday maker on the days not suited to the beach or when one tires of sun and sand. To get away from it all there is no better place to spend a day or even an afternoon.
Located 24 km west of Tralee off the N 86 at the village of Aughacasla, or better still, stop off at the Railway Bar on the main road in Camp and ask for directions there (They sell lovely Horse Brasses there).Have You Found What You Are Looking For?