Glenageenty is an area of mystery, myth and folklore, a wild and rugged landscape that was once the sanctuary to some famous heroes and bandits alike. This loop is the shorter of two loops and it takes you along its riverbanks and woodlands to listen to singing birds, gurgling streams, and the underfoot crunch of fallen hazelnuts and oak leaves - a paradise of peace and tranquillity. For those with an interest in birdlife, ravens, hen harriers, kestrels, pheasants and cranes are all regular sightings - for nightimers it's a haven for bat life!
Wild goats can frequently be seen sunning themselves in forest clearings. Tree lovers will encounter oak, birch, sallow, hazel, mountain ash, white and blackthorn, sycamore and various types of spruce in abundance. It was in this glen that Gerald the last Earl of Desmond was beheaded in 1583 after months of hiding in dense woods - a plaque now marks the spot where his blood stained the earth. The loop takes you by the site of the Desmond Castle and on via the Ravens Glen waterfall to the ruins of Sean Thaigh Og’s cabin where in 1916 Robert Monteith evaded his enemies after the unsuccessful landing of arms at Banna Strand.
From this secluded glen we can see the route and the hideaway taken by Stephen Fuller in 1923 when he was sole survivor of the Ballyseedy massacre. There are glorious vistas of Carrantuohill, Ireland’s highest mountain, the gap of Dunloe and Mount Brandon. More recently, valley floor, the Glounageenty River the rugged hillside and the forest glades inspired and honed local mountain man John Lenihan into peak fitness in 1991 before he traveled to the Matterhorn in Switzerland to become first Irishman to win the world title for mountain racing.