The Priests Leap Circuit starts in Kenmare and takes the N71 towards Glengarriff. As you cross Our Lady’s Bridge to your right you will see Kenmare Bay flow towards the Atlantic. After 300m take the road to the left follow this road for 1km (it is also possible to park at the Kenmare Old cemetery on your left) you will pass over Sheen River with the world famous Sheen Falls Hotel on your left. Keeping the estuary on your left follow the road for 1.5km take the road to the right and follow the route for 8km after crossing the Slaheny river take the road to the right at the T-junction. You now travel southward along the Slaheny River Valley for 14km while climbing some 800m to the saddle on the Kerry / Cork border.
You now begin your 16km decent along the scenic Borlin valley parallel with the Coomhoola River to the junction at the Coomhola Bridge. Take the road to the right to begin your ascent to the Priests Leap. A climb of 560m over 7km takes you to the top of the Priests Leap. Knockboy to the east at 706m is the highest mountain in Cork, to the north you can see the outline of the MacGillycuddy Reeks, turning south you will see Bantry Bay and whiddy island near Bantry.
On the 5km decent from the Priests Leap you will pass St Fiachnas Graveyard and the unique multi-ballaun stone (The Rolls of Butter) and soon you will intersect with the Sheen Valley Heritage trail. You now have the choice to sample the delights of Lorge Chocolatier or the old world charm of Molly Gallivans or perhaps return to Kenmare. (Bonane Church can also be used as a trail head for this route)
On the return route to Kenmare you will pass the Bonane Heritage Park, some 9km takes you to your next junction where you will turn left follow the road for 2km and turn left for Kenmare passing by the Sheen Falls Hotel you will complete your return journey to Kenmare.
PDF Download: Priest’s Leap Cycle Route PDF