The Blackwater Way follows the valley of the River Blackwater. It is part of the European E8 route. The Way is a richly varied one in terms of topography and features, and includes contouring sections along mountain flanks with great views, passing by ancient monuments such as standing stones, stone circles and cairns, and more modern monuments such as cillins (infant burial grounds) and holy wells.
Along the way the towns of Fermoy and Millstreet and the villages of Kilworth, Ballynamona and Bweeng are encountered. Although the off-road sections are never far from a public road, on higher ground the route frequently passes through quite isolated mountain areas of forestry.
Although about 28% of the route is on roads that carry fast traffic, the balance consists mainly of quiet tarmac roads, forestry tracks, bog roads and moorland and field paths. Some sections can be wet and muddy in wet weather.
Until the last 15 kilometres during which there is a climb of 560m under Caherbarnagh and the Paps, there are no significant ascents, although over the whole route there is an aggregate ascent of 3,700 metres.
Section 1 – Clogheen to the Hare’s Gap (Monaminane) – Hard
Section 2 - Clogheen to the Hare’s Gap (Monaminane) – Easy
Section 3 – The Hare’s Gap (Monaminane) to Araglin – Moderate
Section 4 – Araglin to Mountain Barracks – Easy
Section 5 – Mountain Barracks to Kilworth – Easy
Section 6 – Kilworth to Fermoy – Easy
Section 7 – Fermoy to Ballyhooly – Easy
Section 8 – Ballyhooly to Killavullen – Easy
Section 9 – Killavullen to Ballynamona – Easy
Section 10 – Ballynamona to Bweeng – Easy
Section 11 – Bweeng to Nad Bog – Easy
Section 12 – Nad Bog to Macroom/Millstreet Road – Moderate
Section 13 – Macroom/Millstreet Road to Millstreet – Moderate
Section 14 – Millstreet to Croohig’s Crossroads (Ballydaly) – Easy
Section 15 – Croohig’s Crossroads (Ballydaly) to Shrone - Hard