Walk this way: Popular Co. Cork amenities set for facelift – Irish Examiner

Rider Blayne Sheehan near the beach at Allihies on the Beara peninsula heading out for a trek on the Beara Bridle Way. Picture: Dan Linehan
Some of Cork’s main equestrian trails and walkways look set for significant improvements as part of a new Government scheme aimed at upgrading outdoor amenities.
As part of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, Cork County Council has been awarded €633,490 in funding to redevelop and improve three outdoor trail projects in the west, north and east of the county.
€196,490 will be allocated to Ireland’s first horse-trail, the Beara Bridle Way on the Beara Peninsula. 
The trail will be extended along 12km of old tracks and woodland from Urhan to Ardgroom, where new specialised parking for horse boxes and riders will be made available.
The new section of the Bridleway will also complete a nearly 23km round loop between the towns of Castletownbere and Allihies.
A further €200,000 will also be provided to upgrade and repair the Barnane Trail Walk and Glenabo Trail, both of which form part of the popular Blackwater Way walking route.

The 2.2km coastal walk in Little Island will also be revamped, with a new two-metre wide path set to be constructed along the Carrigrenan Amenity Walkway overlooking Cork Harbour. 
Additional parking will also be provided, along with new benches, lifebelts and signage.
Welcoming the new funding, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan said the investments would make the county a more attractive destination for outdoor activities.
“The first phase of the Beara Bridle Way opened during 2020 and is attracting visitors all year round while the next phase will add 14km and there are long-term plans to create a trail that would take four days to ride.
“I know that enhancing the walks along the Blackwater River and overlooking Cork Harbour at Little Island will mean that the routes can be enjoyed by even more people,” she said.
Accessibility study into Blue Flag beaches

The scheme also includes a grant of €50,000 for the council to complete a study into how access and services for people with disabilities can be improved at West Cork’s Blue Flag beaches in Barleycove, Owenahincha, Inchydoney, Garrylucas and Garretstown. 
The results of which will inform how accessibility issues can be addressed at beaches elsewhere in the county.
“Over the past two years, outdoor activities like walking, hiking, swimming and horse-riding have become a bigger part of all our lives,” said Cork County Council Chief Executive Tim Lucey.
“We want to ensure that our beaches, walkways and other amenities are as accessible as possible to everyone who wants to use them.”

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