Sitting on a bench and overlooking the water, there was not a sound to be heard but the whisper of the wind.
“Off the beaten track”, is a phrase often used across many travel guides, and while some may be off the main road, they’re still very much touristy. Glanteenassig is certainly not that.
While many people will naturally migrate towards Killarney (which is stunning in its own right), Glanteenassig forest and lakes are really spectacular.
The origin of the name Glanteenassig, or in Irish, Gleann Tí an Easaigh, translates as the Valley of the Waterfalls.
For some reason, it’s what I imagined parts of America to be like with their Great Lakes. Though obviously much smaller in size, they still held a mysterious aura of peace.
Forgive me for sounding so whimsical, maybe it was the fact that it was a sunny day or the fact that I was sharing the afternoon with my Mom – but it really was quite wonderful.
Now it’s not the easiest place to get to. The forest is 24km west of Tralee, off the N86 at the village of Aughacasla. The road is rough and it you may feel like the valley is just sucking you into oblivion, but trust me, it’s worth it.
At the car park at Lake Caum you can set aside your vehicle and make your way to the right to the wooden boardwalk which is incredibly well-maintained. Running around the entire lake, and weaving in and out of key viewing spots, the boardwalk is railed with wire fencing upon foot to prevent slipping.
The surrounding forest was established in the 1950’s and 60’s and consists mainly of pine and sitka spruce, though much of the spruces are now being replaced with mountain ash, larch and alder.
With signposts guiding your way, it’s a tranquil walk around the lake (incidentally it’s an angler’s paradise and is regularly stocked with rainbow trout by the Irish Fisheries Board).
The lake is 210 metres above sea level and chances are that you’ll be the only person there. Magical.