Distance : Approx 5 miles / 8 kms
Brief Description : This is one of the most popular locations in Cork City for running and walking. Located just 3 kms east of the city centre, most of the route is on public walkways and is mostly free of traffic. It has largely flat with nice scenic views out over the river and harbour areas. Very easy to navigate as you are either following the river or staying on the public walkways.
Parking...There are a number of points on the loop where you can park and start from...
1) Start of public walkway at Blackrock Castle
2) Car Park at B&Q in the Mahon Point Retail Park. Try to park near the road junction and leave the spaces near the shops free. Approx 750 metres from the loop.
3) Harty's Quay on the Rochestown Road. Approx 770 metres from the loop.
4) Car Park at the Pairc Ui Chaoimh GAA stadium. Approx 470 metres from the loop.
Detailed description : Starting near Blackrock Castle, the first three kms are on a public walkway alongside the waters edge with nice views out over the inner harbour.
Just after the 3 km mark, you cross over a causeway and up a short ramp to join another walkway which was once part of the Cork to Crosshaven railway. Here you turn right, up and over the pedestrian bridge over the South Ring Road and through the sheltered railway cutting as you head towards the city.
At 6 kms, you exit right on to a footpath along the Marina which runs alongside the River Lee.
At 7 kms, you reach Blackrock village and staying left, you climb a slight hill before dropping down to finish near Blackrock Castle again.
Safety : The route is mostly unlit. It is very popular during daylight hours but very quiet at night. The only traffic is on the public road alongside the footpath from 6 to 8 kms.