LaneThe Wicklow Mountains National Park, established in 1991, extends over 9,000 hectares of County Wicklow. Covering such a large area, the park offers varying terrain including mountains, woodlands, peat bogs, and marshlands.

The National Park belongs to the people of Ireland and has no restrictions on visitors and is open twenty-four hours a day, all year round. Wildlife such as deer, foxes, badgers, hares and birds of prey all enjoy save haven in the National Park.

Scores of way-marked trails criss-cross the Wicklow Mountains. Each offers something special, whether it’s a close encounter with the flora and fauna, historical sites, spectacular scenery, or a hiking challenge.

 Glendalough Walking Trails

There are nine walks to choose from, each starting at the National Park Information Office near the Upper Lake. Staff at the Information Office can help you choose a suitable route.

Minors Road Walk (Easy, 5km)

Grade: Easy
Distance: 5km
Time: 1hr 10mins
Metres climb: 20m

This walk skirts one side of the Upper Lake. The trail passes through Scots Pine woodland before reaching the ruined miners’ village. Halfway along the trail, the cave known as St Kevin’s Bed can be seen across the lake. Feral goats are common on this walk. Peregrine Falcons may on occasion be seen high in the sky soaring and calling to each other (a high-pitched cry).

Green Road Walk (Easy, 3km)

Grade: Easy
Distance: 3km
Time: 50mins
Metres climb: 20m

The Green Road is an easy stroll on mostly flat ground. This walk passes through the Glendalough oak woodlands before dropping down onto the Lower Lake wetland edge. Views up the valley from the boardwalk here are spectacular. Lizards and dragonflies are often seen sunning themselves on the wooden trackway. The wetlands are a valuable breeding place for frogs.

Poulanass (Moderate, 1.7km)

Grade: Moderate
Distance: 1.7km
Time: 45mins
Metres climb: 150m

This trail begins with a short but steep climb up by the Poulanass Waterfall and plunge pools. (The name Poulanass is
taken from the Irish ‘Poll an Eas’ which means ‘hole of the waterfall’). The trail crosses above the waterfall to drop down through mixed woodlands to the valley floor. Listen out for woodland birds, in particular Jays, which can be quite noisy.

Poulanass and St Kevin's Cell (Moderate, 2km)

Grade: Moderate
Distance: 2km
Time: 45mins
Metres climb:120m

This trail rises steeply alongside the Poulanass Waterfall, leading you through the Glendalough oak woodlands. It then winds gently down to the site of St Kevin’s Cell. At this point there is a scenic viewpoint overlooking the Upper Lake, which is a good place to birdwatch. A visit to Reefert Church is worthwhile before ending your walk.

Derrybawn Woodland Trail (Ramble, 8km)

Grade: Ramble
Distance: 8km
Time: 2hrs
Metres climb: 160m

This trail climbs steeply up alongside the Poulanass Waterfall before leading you to the upper reaches of Derrybawn
Mountain. Flanked by larch and pine trees, the route offers magnificent views of the whole Glendalough Valley. Red
Squirrels and birds such as Treecreepers are often seen here. In early summer, wood sorrel, bluebells and wood anemones add colour to the woodland floor.

Woodland Road (Ramble, 4km)

Grade: Ramble
Distance: 4km
Time: 1hr 45mins
Metres climb: 90m

This is a pleasant walk through one of the more secretive areas of Glendalough. It weaves through mixed woodlands into neighbouring Glendasan Valley, where it joins St. Kevin’s Way and the path up to Glendasan Mines. The trail follows the Glendasan River back towards Glendalough where it then joins up with the boardwalk which runs through the Lower Lake wetlands.

Spinc and Glenealo Valley (Hillwalk, 9km)

Grade: Hillwalk
Distance: 9km
Time: 3hrs 30mins
Metres climb: 380m

This popular walk leads you through some of the most spectacular scenery in Co Wicklow. (The name Spinc comes from the Irish ‘An Spinc’ and means ‘pointed hill’). The trail ascends steeply up by the Poulanass Waterfall before joining a boardwalk. More than 600 wooden steps lead you to a viewing point overlooking the Upper Lake. The boardwalk skirts the top of the cliffs before descending through blanket bog and heath into the picturesque Glenealo Valley, home to a large herd of deer. A rough track then leads you back down into Glendalough Valley.

Spinc and the Wicklow Way (Hillwalk, 11km)

Grade: Hillwalk
Distance: 11km
Time: 4hrs
Metres climb: 490m

This walk follows the same route as the other Spinc trails up onto the boardwalk. It stays on this boardwalk for 1.7
kilometres before turning off in the direction of Lugduff Mountain. This section of the trail is a good place to spot deer and birds such as Raven, Merlin and Kestrel. Finally the trail links up with the Wicklow Way track to lead you back to the Information Office.

Spinc (short route) (Hillwalk, 5km)

Grade: Hillwalk
Distance: 5km
Time: 2hrs
Metres climb: 280m

Although this walk is short in comparison to the other Spinc routes, it still leads you into mountainous terrain where
navigational experience is necessary. The walk follows the Poulanass Waterfall before entering the Lugduff Valley. From there, a steep climb up steps brings you onto the boardwalk. This trail continues for 1.2 kilometres along the boardwalk which hugs the cliff of the Spinc, before cutting down through forest to lead back towards the Information Office.


Glendalough Walking Trails Glendalough Trails Map