MacGillycuddy Reeks Mountain Access Project

Leave no Trace is an outdoor ethics programme designed to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships. We ask that you adhere to the following principles while visiting the Reeks:

Plan Ahead and Prepare

  • Before you go check, where possible, if access is allowed and your activity is permitted in the area you wish to visit.
  • Respect any signs, regulations, policies and special concerns for the area that you wish to visit. Permits may sometimes be needed for activities on public lands.
  • Where possible travel by public transport or share cars; consider the availability of parking.
  • Ensure you have the skills and equipment needed for your activity and to cope with emergencies that could arise.
  • Check the weather forecast and always be prepared for changing weather conditions.
  • For environmental and safety reasons, and to minimise your impact on other users, keep group numbers small; split larger parties into smaller groups.

Be Considerate of Others

  • Respect the people who live and work in the countryside.
  • Park appropriately - avoid blocking gateways, forest entrances or narrow roads. Remember that farm machinery, local residents and the emergency services may need access at all times.
  • Take care not to damage property, especially walls, fences and crops.
  • Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
  • Let nature's sounds prevail. Keep noise to a minimum.

Respect Farm Animals and Wildlife

  • Dogs should be kept under close control and should only be brought onto hills or farmland with the landowner's permission. Some public areas stipulate that dogs must be kept on a lead at all times, please adhere to local guidelines.
  • Observe wild animals and birds from a distance. Avoid disturbing them, particularly at sensitive times: mating, nesting and raising young (mostly between spring and early summer).
  • Keep wildlife wild, don't feed wild animals or birds - our foods damage their health and leave them vulnerable to predators.
  • Farm animals are not pets; remain at a safe distance.

Leave What You Find

  • Respect property. For example, farming or forestry machinery, fences, stone walls etc. Leave gates as you find them (open or closed).
  • Preserve the past: examine - without damaging - archaeological structures, old walls and heritage artefacts e.g. holy wells, mine workings, monuments.
  • Conserve the present: leave rocks, flowers, plants, animals and all natural habitats as you find them.
  • Fallen trees are a valuable wildlife habitat; do not remove or use for firewood.
  • Avoid introducing non-native plants and animals e.g. zebra mussels in rivers and lakes.
  • Do not build rock cairns, structures or shelters.

Dispose of Waste Properly

  • "If You Bring It In, Take It Out" - take home all litter and leftover food (including tea bags, fruit peels and other biodegradable foods).
  • Bring home toilet paper and hygiene products.
  • Wash yourself or your dishes 30m away from streams or lakes and if necessary use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Bring home any solids and scatter strained dishwater.
  • For more information on sanitation in the outdoors read the "Where to go in the outdoors" leaflet.

For more information visit

Not everyone is aware that the mountains are privately owned and actively farmed. Dogs are not permitted in the Reeks.

Please do not risk the goodwill shown by the landowners by ignoring the NO DOGS POLICY. The decision to ban dogs was not taken lightly by the forum. Dogs may be shot. Dog owners should be aware that sheep can suffer from stress which can be very harmful to them, even if the dog does not physically attack the sheep. This stress can result in spontaneous abortion/lambs being born dead and loss of body weight.

Please show respect to the landowners by adhering to this policy.

As there continues to be numerous accidents and some fatalities on the Reeks please ensure you are adequately prepared for your walk.

  • Check the weather forecast (
  • Wear appropriate footwear
  • Wear appropriate clothing, i.e. rain gear, warm clothes, hat & gloves
  • Try to avoid walking alone
  • Always bring a mobile phone
  • Tell someone where you are planning to go walking and the approximate time you intend to return

Download our leaflet with further advice.

Safety Leaflet

For more information please visit

South Kerry Development Partnership
Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, rural and Gealtacht Affairs
Rural Alliances
Kerry CoCo
Fáilte Ireland
Leave no Trace
  • South Kerry Development Partnership
  • Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, rural and Gealtacht Affairs
  • Rural Alliances
  • Kerry CoCo
  • Fáilte Ireland
  • Leave no Trace