Tomies, Purple and Shehy

Tomies, Purple and Shehy

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Altitude/Distance: 832m/13.5km approx

Route: Tomies Wood – Shehy – Purple – Gap of Dunloe

Grade: Trek – easy/moderate

Dates: All year round; contact us for dates and details

Duration: 4-6 hours


Our Tomies – Purple – Shehy trek is suitable for beginners and is a very enjoyable day out that allows for a great introduction to hillwalking. The moderate circular walk takes in Tomies, Purple and Shehy and offers stunning views of the Gap and the Reeks, as well as of Lough Leane and Killarney.


Individual and group rates available. Please contact us for details.


We begin with a straightforward walk in towards Tomies Wood before veering for the hills to summit your first peak of the day – Gortadirra (479m). From here, we make a push up to Tomies where the slopes become steeper. From the cairn at Tomies summit (735m) you get your first dramatic view of Purple Mountain (which derives its name from the colour of the sandstone rock that emits a purple hue under certain light conditions) and the Gap of Dunloe below.

The scenery is breathtaking as we make the nice easy grade ridge walk passing minor summit points at 695m and 757m before the summit of Purple. Descending the col or valley of Coomclochan below, the views are dramatic out over Lough Leane and Killarney beyond. Contouring down off Shehy, we return to the forestry and the welcome track of Tomies Wood. This last section is a gentle walk through beautiful forestry where deer may be glimpsed through the trees before we pass the waterfall at O’Sullivan’s Cascade. We complete our walk at the gate where we started.


What you wear when you are out in the hills and mountains is very important, especially when conditions are challenging. It is important to ensure that you are warm, dry and comfortable in your clothing and footwear and that you have some basic equipment with you to ensure that you have an enjoyable experience and that you return home safely. The following is a list of basic gear that you should own if you are a regular hillwalker or climber:


  • Lightweight long thermal underwear
  • Short and long-sleeved t-shirts
  • Fleece jacket
  • Fleece or cotton trousers (no jeans)
  • Jacket – waterproof and breathable; with attached hood
  • Over-trousers, waterproof and breathable


  • Sun hat with good visor for summer
  • Balaclava/facemask – 1, lightweight
  • Woolly hat
  • Sunglasses – UV & IR protection


  • Gloves – 2 pairs, lightweight and heavier for the cold


  • Light hiking boots
  • Gaiters
  • Socks – warm trekking socks (2-3 pairs)

Trekking equipment:

  • Daypack – 25-35 litre (optional)
  • Waterproof pack cover
  • Ski poles – 1 pair collapsible spring-bound ski poles (optional)
  • Sunscreen – SPF 30-40
  • Lipscreen – SPF 20-40, at least 2 sticks
  • Sunblock
  • Personal First Aid kit

Miscellaneous items:

  • Spare boot laces, bulbs, batteries, memory cards, headtorch
  • Cold water detergent and some toiletries
  • Small sewing kit
  • Penknife and small scissors
  • Camera
  • Insect repellent
  • Toilet paper – it is good practice to bring your own, but it is provided to anyone if needed
  • Baby wipes/hand wipes
  • Hand gel
  • Personal medication
  • 1 x flask with hot drink (optional)
  • Map OSI 78 and compass (optional)
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