Bonane is a beautiful valley situated in the picturesque south west of Ireland. Situated on the main roadway between the picturesque towns of Kenmare to Glengarriff, the valley s surrounded by the Sheehy and Caha mountains. The area derives its name from Fionn Mac Cumhall, the legendary leader of the Fianna, who maintained a bothy (both) or hunting lodge here - hence the old Gaelic name Both-Fhionáin (Fionn's house), now anglicised to Bonane. Bonane is steeped in ancient history being home to over 250 archaeological sites. This identifies Bonane as having one of the highest concentrations of sites in the country. Recent studies show many of these sites are interrelated and some have major astronomical significance. In many ways unchanged by time, Bonane is a paradise for visitors offering a multitude of activities including hill walking, cycling, fishing, and an abundance of archaeological and historical sites. Separated from County Cork by a unique hand-cut tunnel, Bonane links both the Ring of Kerry and the Ring of Beara – both trips of breathtaking beauty. The River Sheen with its crystal clear waters (and subject of many ballads) flows through the parish and is a popular for fishing.
See also 105 B-Fionn Maccool Loop
A-B. From the trailhead follow the green (and blue and purple) arrows through the gate and onto the farm laneway. The blue and purple arrows are for longer loops. Enjoy the journey through the traditional Irish farmyard as the laneway ascends to reach the top of the hill behind the farem. Now the loop descends and crosses the main road before descending along a farm roadway to reach an iron bridge over Esk Stream. Cross the bridge, turn right and follow the laneway to join a surfaced roadway. All three loops turn right here.
B-C. Now the loops join with the Beara Way - a long distance walking route around the Beara Peninsula, and marked with the familiar yellow arrows and walking man. At the second Y-junction note that the Beara Way and purple loop turns left - but you continue straight. Follow the roadway for over 1km and watch for a large hayshed on your right after which you turn right.
C-A. Cross a stile and join a green roadway - and follow the roadway downhill to reach a footbridge over the Esk Steam. Cross the bridge and follow the green arrows as you are taken uphill for 200m back to reach the trailhead.