Bohernabreena Reservoir (45km, 695m)

Map of Bohernabreena Reservoir route


Categorised Climbs: Ballinascorney (First Section), Cunard Road Lower, Cunard Road Upper

Variation upon variation — this is a third way to skin the Piperstown/Glenasmole cat. It’s the most scenic option of the three, but also the hardest, featuring the short but salutary climb up Cunard Road Lower along with the demanding final kilometre of Cunard Road Upper. It would be hard to find a route that packs so much into a couple of hours so close to the city centre.

Head out of the city through Old Bawn and past the entrance to Bohernabreena reservoir to start the climb up to Ballinascorney. Take the left turn after the Footee course, as the road widens and curves right. The road above the reservoir is a joy: quiet, well-paved, tree-lined, with occasional glimpses of the water below. Follow the road around the back of the reservoir to a T-junction: left here, then the next right to take on the 15% ramp of Cunard Road Lower. Right at the top to join Cunard Road Upper — you’ll have a few moments to catch your breath before the grind up to the Featherbeds. Turn left at the T with Military Road, then the usual drop down by the Viewing Point and Cruagh Road to Tibradden, and along Pine Forest Road to Glencullen.

The only likely hazard (aside from knee trouble) is the descent down the back of the reservoir. The road itself is fine, but it’s winding and very narrow with no visibility around the corners — it’s very easy to round a corner at speed to meet a Land Rover coming the other way, with no scope for evasive manoeuvres. Don’t ask me how I know this.

Pasture leading down to the Upper Lake of Bohernabreena Reservoir, mountains in the background
The Upper Lake of Bohernabreena Reservoir, glittering in the sunshine

Thoughts, hopes, exhortations?