The Area

This mountain pass has 9km of unsurfaced road and is 15km from town. It divides the Purple Mountain from the MacGillycuddy Reeks. In this rugged defile are the Serpent, Auger, Cushvalley and Black Lakes which are drained by the river Loe. Visitors travel on pony back or pony carriage from Kate Kearney's Cottage to the head of the Upper Lake whence the tour continues by boat. This gap is a place of massive boulders in grotesque array over which foaming mountain torrents dash downwards with reckless abandon. A symphony of nature is played here incessantly, no two notes in repetition. For illustration, nature adds a profusion of ferns, mosses and wild flowers. The purple heather and the yellow gorse make a blaze of colour thrilling to the eye. These natural aspects of Dunloe Gap have remained unchanged since it was traversed by Tennyson, Weld, Macaulay, Young, Thackeray, Scott and other early-day visitors.

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