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Black Head Loop

(01 Aug 2009)
Download a PDF map of the trail here, and refer to the letters as you follow the route.
Trailhead: Fanore Beach Car Park, Fanore, Co. Clare

Services: Fanore (1km) and Ballyvaughan (14km)

Dist/Time: 26km / 5hr-6hrs

Difficulty: Hard

Terrain: Green roads, tracks and mountain paths

To Suit: Higher than average level of fitness

Min. Gear: Sturdy walking boots, waterproofs, rucksack, fluid, snacks, mobile phone


Directions to Trailhead:
Start from village of Fanore which is located on the R477, half way between Ballyvaughan village and Doolin village in County Clare . Fanore is a one hour north of Ennis. The trailhead is located at Fanore Beach car park.

A-B. Exiting from the car park at Fanroe Beach , turn right on the surfaced road – following the purple arrow (and the red arrow for the shorter Caher Valley Loop). Follow the road for 200, to reach the Primary School on your left – veer left here and join the sandy roadway which takes you off the main road. After nearly 1km the sandy road joins a surfaced roadway – turn left.

B-C. Now the loops begins to ascend through Ballelly and after 3km meets the Burren way (marked with yellow arrows and the familiar walking man logo).

C-D. Turn sharp left at this junction, and join the green road which takes you along the shoulder if Slieve Elva (on your right). Continue to follow the purple arrows (and yellow arrows on the

D-E. Here te shorter Caher Valley Loop (red arrows) turns left and makes its way back to the trailhead – your loop continues to follow the Burren Way as it crosses the Caher Valley road and turns right and then immediately left. The loop crosses a ridge of Gleninagh Mountain and Cathair an Ard Rios, then joins a surfaced road where the

E-F. Follow the purple arrow. After a short distance the loop follows a farm road to the right and climbs to meet a path which takes a right turn back in the direction of the R477 and the coast.

F-A. Follow a pathway by a stone wall, then right and descend along a pathway to join the green road which takes you around Black Head and affords you some spectacular West of Ireland scenery. The green road eventually exits onto the R477 at the village of Fanore . Turn left and enjoy the last section of the loop back to the trailhead.
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