An ambitious plan to promote the MacGillycuddy Reeks as the premier upland destination in the country has received a financial boost of almost €150,000.
The MacGillycuddy Reeks Mountain Access Forum aims to promote the 100 square kilometre area which includes Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil.
Over 5,000 walkers passed through one of the main access routes to Carrauntoohil in one month this year alone.
The MacGillycuddy Reeks Mountain Access Forum was established in mid-2014 to implement a plan of action for the sustainable management of the MacGillycuddy Reeks, an area of over 100 square kilometres which is entirely in private ownership.
The Mountain Access Project is an initiative of Comhairle na Tuaithe, the national body with responsibility for outdoor recreation.
The forum comprising landowners, public representatives and a number of agencies has already begun work on upgrading access routes, signage, mountain trails and access points including at Lisleibane, Breanlee and Cronin’s Yard.Presenting an update to councillors in the South and West Kerry Municipal District, Patricia Deane of the South Kerry Development Partnership said one issue being explored is an indemnity scheme for landowners.
She noted that 5,000 people alone had passed through Cronin’s Yard en route to Carrauntoohil and the surrounding mountains during the month of August. €147,000 has been received from the Rural Economic Development Zone scheme which will allow the further improvement of walkways and access routes on the Reeks.