Length: From Point A to Point F approximately 4 km/ 2.89 mi, allow 1.5 hours. The looped walk within the wood (Red Route) is 1.5 km/ 0.93 mi, allow 30-40 minutes.
Terrain: Paths and trails
Gear: Comfortable walking shoes/boots, raingear, mobile phone, snacks and fluids
When to go: All year round
Wheelchair Accessible: No
Family Friendly: Yes
Dog Friendly: No
Stopping Points: No set points but some interesting things to see are listed in description below.
Nearest Services: Tralee
Car Parking: Available at Ballygarry House Hotel carpark
Ordnance Survey Map No: 71
Disclaimer: Gems Publishing Ltd. do not accept responsibility for injury, loss or inconvenience caused while walking these trails. Common sense should prevail at all times.
Before you start: Take the Killorglin Road (N70) from Tralee. Turn left at Skehanagh Cross onto the Farmer’s Bridge Road (L2011). Access to the wood is 2 km further along this road to the left. It is well signposted. Park in the car park. Access is also possible on the northern side from the N21 – the main Castleisland/Killarney approach. Take the turn-off for Ballygarry House Hotel, turn left at T-junction and park in the cul-de-sac near the entrance to the wood. You can start this walk at either Point A or Point F.
History to know: The wooded area of the Ballyseedy Wood Walk dates back at least to the 16th century when it is was first mapped for Sir Edward Denny. Further planting took place by Col. John Blennerhassett in the early 18th century who had his castle nearby. Today, Ballyseedy is a sustainable woodland recreational amenity for the people of Kerry and visitors alike. It is a unique and tranquil retreat which extends to nearly 80 acres. It has at least 22 varieties of native trees and they are marked with their Gaelic and English names in the woods. As you wander along the Old Coach Road which served the Blennerhassett estate and plantation, look out for the majestic Ash, Oak and Beech trees – they have been growing here for centuries. There are a number of ruins and follies within the wood, dating back to the 17th century, with the River Lee (from which Tralee takes its name) forming the woodlands northern boundary. Ballyseede Castle can also be visited at the end of the walk.
A to B: As you enter the woods from the Southern Carpark, take the path to the left. As you follow the path you will enjoy glimpses of the rolling open country side and the foothills of the Slieve Mish Mountain range. The path follows a route through Hazel trees and Ash, taking you to the western end of the woodland. Paths linking the Coach Road criss-cross this part of the route.
B to C: Following the path down the incline you will pass a stand of lovely Yew trees and come to the most western point of the wood at C. Standing at C one can overlook the rolling meadow to the west. The gate piers here, mark the original entrance into the woods and forms the start of the Coach Road.
C to D: This well defined route was the original Coach Road which accessed the estate plantation and the historical homes of the former owners, the Blennerhassetts. The ruins of the original house are on your left as you follow the path and these date back to the 17th century. If you look towards the river, the old Water Mill ruins can be seen to your left. Following the Coach Road will bring you through the heart of the plantation wood which was generally planted in the early 18th century. From there you will find yourself out into the open meadow area.
The woodland on the other side of the meadow is the alluvial wetland part of the wood which has several specimen Alder within the extensive stand. Leaving the open meadow behind, the canopy closes in with Ash and Hazel before you get to the Coach Road marker stone at D which is the completion of the looped walk.
D to E: If you continue along the Coach Road, it will bring you to the eastern end of the wood from where can be seen the Monument Wood.
E to F: The trail can be taken to the left and this passes along the eastern boundary, from where it follows the river before finishing at the Northern Car park.
Finish: We hope you have enjoyed the walk and found the information here useful. As always, if you have any comments to make please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.