A short distance from Baltimore, Lough Hyne or Loughine (whichever way you like to spell it) is the perfect place if you enjoy walking, hill climbing, or a gentle stroll along wooded lanes by the lake shore. This saltwater lake in West Cork is connected to the sea by rapids and was Europe's first marine nature reserve. It is a treasure house of unusual species such as sea urchins and oysters, which are strictly protected. The lough is also popular for swimming, diving and kayaking. Fishing is permitted but not in the vicinity of the piers.
Lough Hyne owes its tranquility to being protected from the worst of the winds by steep hills on three sides. If you feel like a challenge, climb the wooded Knockamagh hill behind the lake to get an unsurpassed view of Baltimore, Roaringwater Bay and Carbery's Hundred isles. A more relaxing hour can be spent wandering along the western shore towards Barloge Creek and the Rapids. The small island in the centre of the lake with a crumbling ruin is where the disgraced Sir Fineen O'Driscoll ended his days in 1629, alone and in poverty, having given away his clansmen's lands to the English in return for a title (see The Sack of Baltimore). A pot of gold is said to be buried there still!