Drung Hill Packs a Punch

Drung Hill is a 640m tall hill in an area called Mountain Stage, between Kells and Glenbeigh. It is best known for the railway tunnels part of the former Farranfore to Valencia railway that cut through the lower slopes of the mountain – they are clearly visible form the Ring of Kerry road. Today I wanted to check out the mountain’s summit and it did not disappoint.

The summit of Drung Hill
The summit of Drung Hill

I parked up the car at Coolnaharragill and followed the Kerry Way in the direction of Cahirciveen. After about 3 kilometers I veered off from the track to reach a small standing stone at a point known as Kilkeehagh. From there on, the way forward was clear: a steep hike straight up to the summit of Drung Hill. The hillside is coated in purple heather which, when it flowers around a month from today, will make for quite a sight. It took a fair bit of discipline to keep going (did I say it was steep) but soon enough Apache and I found ourselves on top of Drung.

The summit of Drung Hill marked by a cairn
The summit of Drung Hill marked by a cairn

From there on Beenmore, at 650m is only another 20 minutes further along Drung’s back. This is where I turned around and headed back towards Drung to descent down its eastern side. If only I’d had more time I would have kept going: from Beenmore you can keep going towards Been Hill, Mullaghnarakill, Teermoyle and beyond. It would be a long hike but I think you can make a cool horseshoe walk out of it. It reminded me of the Caha Mountains on the Beara peninsula with its many opportunities take in several mountains summits on walks such as the Cummeengeera Horseshoe.

Sheep on the slopes of Drung Hill
Sheep on the slopes of Drung Hill

Drung Hill and Beenmore pack a punch as the views are great. Cahirciveen, Valentia and Knocknadobar on the west, the Dingle peninsula looking north, and most strikingly the beaches of Rossbeigh and Inch to the east. Several mountain lakes such as Coomnacronia and Coomaglaslaw dot the land to the south against the backdrop of mountains such as Teermoyle and Coomacarrea. All in all this was about a 12km hike that took around 3 hours. Recommended!

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