With kids off school amidst Covid-19 fears, businesses closed, and many Irish and visitors alike with little options for entertainment for St. Patrick’s celebrations we are starting to see a surge in parks across the city and country. Social distancing is being put to the test or simply ignored as families and walkers file onto the beaches and into the green spaces. Perhaps it’s time to try to discover spaces that can accommodate those seeking an alternative to solitary isolation and craving a breath of fresh air. With this in mind, I’ve put together a simple sample of Wicklow trails for those not familiar with the mountains on Dublin’s doorstep with plenty of Covid-19 social distancing available!
1: The Spinc Hike – Glendalough
Address: Glendalough National Parks, Laragh Glendalough
The Spinc ridge overlooks the spectacular Glendalough Valley. An arduous climb is rewarded with breathtaking views not just of the Glenealo Valley but as you climb high the stunning vista over the Wicklow Uplands opens out around you. Find your map here.
Grade: Strenuous, route is marked with white arrows
Estimated time: 3hrs 30mins
Total height climbed: 380m
Highest point: 500m
Terrain underfoot: rocky trail, boardwalk, forest roads.
Suitable for: Well equipped with reasonable fitness
Notes: high mountain route, exposed to the weather, proper footwear & rainwear required, dogs on leads at all times, dangerous exposed cliffs- do not leave the trail.
How to get to start point:
Upper Lake Car Park Glendalough
- GPS FOR START POINT: 53.007192,-6.34675
- Bus: St Kevins Bus www.glendaloughbus.com +353 (0)1 281 8119
2: Forest Walk Trooperstown Woods
Address: Forest Walk Trooperstown Woods, Laragh Glendalough
Trooperstown Forest is easy to access is a great easy trail suitable for families. Drive in along the road which will bring you to a car park beside the river, your walk starts here. Cross over the bridge and take the forest road leading to the left, this then branches as you take the route to the right and uphill. A climb will bring you to the top of the forest with amazing views over the Wicklow Mountains and into Glendalough Valley. Descend along the wide road to the start point. You can do this walk in either direction. See your map here.
Grade: Easy , the route is not marked.Distance: 2.5km
Estimated time: 1hr
Total height climbed: 100m
Highest point: 240m
Terrain underfoot: Forest trail and paths
Suitable for: families etc, steep uphill sections
How to get to start point: Trooperstown Forest
- GPS FOR START POINT: 53.007063,-6.28483
- Bus: St Kevins Bus www.glendaloughbus.com/ +353 (0)1 281 8119
3: Djouce Woods Hike
Address: Djouce Woods, Kilmacanogue
The trail can be started in either of the car parks on the Long Hill but the lower car park is generally the most popular. Views of Powerscourt Waterfall, Sugarloaf, Wicklow Mountains all await you on this scenic walk. See your map here.
Grade: Moderate, the route is marked with Blue markers.
Estimated time: 1hrs
Total height climbed: 100m
Highest point: 410m
Terrain underfoot: Forest tracks and paths
Suitable for: families.
Notes: parts of the route are exposed to the elements, rainwear and proper gear is recommended.
How to get to start point: Long Hill car parks.
- GPS FOR START POINT: 53.155945,-6.186872
- Nearest public transport is to Enniskerry by Dublin Bus. www.dublinbus.ie