Exploring The Best Dublin Walking Trails In And Around The Capital

Overlooking Lough Tay In Wicklow National Park

Are you yearning for invigorating walks on Dublin’s scenic trails? With over 165 hiking trails, Dublin is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. This guide will provide an inspiring list of the best walking trails to explore around the Emerald Isle’s capital in 2023.

Get ready to venture out and discover the captivating beauty that awaits just outside your doorstep!

Key Takeaways

  • Dublin offers over 165 hiking trails, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts.
  • Some of the best walking trails in Dublin include Ticknock, Tibradden Woods, Howth Cliff Walk, The Hellfire Club, and Carrickgollogan.
  • Nearby hiking options within an hour’s drive from Dublin include Djouce Mountain, The Great Sugarloaf, and The Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk.
  • For those willing to travel up to 1.5 hours from Dublin, Glendalough, Lough Ouler, Slieve Foye, Slieve Gullion, Bray Head Hillwalk and Loughcrew Cairns are worth exploring.

Best Hikes Trails in Dublin

Ticknock is a popular hiking spot in Dublin, offering scenic views and various walking trails for all fitness levels.

1) Phoenix Park, Dublin

Phoenix Park is a magnificent urban park located in Dublin, Ireland. Spanning over 1,700 acres, it is one of the largest enclosed recreational spaces in any European capital city. The park has numerous attractions, including Dublin Zoo, Áras an Uachtaráin (the official residence of the President of Ireland), and various sports fields and playgrounds.

Deer in Phoenix Park, Walking Trails Dublin
Photo by Clément Bonnet on Unsplash

Visitors can also explore the park’s beautiful landscapes, walk along its scenic trails, and admire the diversity of wildlife. With its rich history and vast expanse of greenery, Phoenix Park offers a peaceful and rejuvenating retreat from the bustling city life. 

2) Ticknock, Dublin Mountains

Ticknock is a top spot for hikers in Dublin. It sits high up in the Dublin Mountains. The sight from Ticknock Hill is a treat for your eyes! You can see all of Dublin City and even get views of Dublin Bay.

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Copyright © Joe King 2010

You can pick from many trails, but Fairy Castle Loop is a favourite. You will find about 10 km of paths to walk or bike on here. People come to Ticknock to break free from busy city life and soak in Ireland’s natural beauty.

3) Tibradden Woods

Tibradden Woods is a wonderful spot for walking trails in Dublin. The trail is about 2.5km long and easy to walk. You can enjoy the quiet, tall trees around you while you walk.

There are also many animals living there. If you’re lucky, you may see some! It lies between the Hell Fire Club and Cruagh Woods, another fun place to hike near Dublin Hills Regional Park.

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Photo © Ian Paterson (cc-by-sa/2.0)

From Tibradden Mountain Trail, the views are amazing! So, get your hiking shoes ready and take a nice walk through Tibradden Woods today!

4) Howth Cliff Walk

Howth Cliff Walk, Walking Trails Dublin
Image by Mike Schönhoff from Pixabay

The Howth Cliff Walk is a stunning coastal trail in Howth, a small fishing village just outside Dublin, Ireland. The walk offers breathtaking views of the rugged cliffs, rugged coastline, and the nearby islands. It can be hard sometimes, but that does not stop hikers from coming here.

The trail is well-marked, taking you through various landscapes, including heathland, forests, and grassy slopes. You’ll pass by historical sites like the Martello Tower and the Baily Lighthouse. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a leisurely stroll, the Howth Cliff Walk is a must-visit when in the area.

You can get to Howth Cliff Walk by train easily. The walk lets you see the area in a new light. It makes your trip special and fun. So come out and try this path!

5) The Hellfire Club

The Hellfire Club sits on top of Montpelier Hill. It is just a 30-minute drive from Dublin City centre. If you want to see stunning views, this is the place for you! You can look at Dublin City and Dublin Bay all at once.

You can also walk in the woods here. There are two trails – one is 5.5 km long, and the other one is 4 km. Both walks are easy and fun for families, too! The whole walk takes only about an hour or so to finish.

1280px Hell Fire Club Dublin at Dawn
This ruined building at the summit of Montpelier was originally built as a hunting lodge, but its association with the Irish Hellfire Club has given it a sinister reputation. By Joe King – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Many people know The Hellfire Club because it has old stories linked to it. People used to tell tales of ghosts and odd happenings there.

6) Carrickgollogan

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Exploring The Best Dublin Walking Trails In And Around The Capital 37

Carrickgollogan is a top spot for hikers in Dublin. This place gets missed by many, but it’s worth the trip. You can find Carrickgollogan near Ticknock and Tibradden. With five trails, it offers fun walks for all fitness levels.

The woods are great for enjoying nature or having a picnic lunch. Many rank Carrickgollogan as one of Dublin’s best hikes!

Best Hikes Near Dublin (under 1-hour drive away)

Some of the best hikes near Dublin, which can be reached in under an hour’s drive, include Djouce Mountain, The Great Sugarloaf, and The Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk.

1) Djouce Mountain, Wicklow National Park

Djouce Mountain is not far from DublinIt lies in the heart of Wicklow National Park. The hike to its summit and back takes around 7 km (4 miles) and can be done in three hours.

1280px J B Malone Memorial
The J. B. Malone memorial above Lough Tay in the Wicklow Mountains National Park
Wicklow Way. (2023, May 22). In Wikipedia.

This hike has much to offer. You can see Powerscourt Waterfall, Bray, Dublin, and wider green areas from the topThere are three ways for walkers to reach the peakEach path offers its own sense of fun and wonder as you make your way up this popular mountain spot.

2) The Great Sugarloaf

The Great Sugarloaf is in Co Wicklow. It’s a well-liked place to take a day trip from Dublin. The top of this 500-meter tall hill gives the most amazing views of Dublin. You can see for miles! Walking up to the top will take around 2 and a half hours.

Be careful, though! Keep your car safe at the Sugarloaf car park because some people have had their cars broken into here before. So, if you like big views and great walks, visit The Great Sugarloaf soon.

3) The Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk

The Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk is a popular trail in Bray that offers stunning views of the Irish coastlinegreen fields, and wildlife. Covering a distance of approximately 7 kilometres, this easy walk takes about 2 hours to complete and is suitable for most fitness levels.

You’ll encounter some steps along the route while enjoying the well-maintained path and breathtaking scenery. Starting from Bray in the nearby county, this trail is a highlight of walking in Wicklow and is definitely worth exploring.

4) Djouce Woods

Djouce Woods, located in Wicklow, is one of the best places for moderate walks near Dublin. It offers two main walking trails: The Blue Loop and The DeerparkThe Blue Loop is an easy walk with a distance of 4.5 km and can be completed in about 1.5 hours.

With a total ascent of around 110 meters, it provides a pleasant outdoor experience. If you’re looking for more scenic hikes, Djouce Mountain is also nearby and definitely worth a visit.

So grab your walking shoes and explore the beautiful nature at Djouce Woods!

5) Ballinastoe Forest

Ballinastoe Forest is a beautiful forest located just an hour’s drive from Dublin. It’s also about a 2-and-a-half-hour drive from Belfast. One of the popular features of Ballinastoe Forest is the boardwalk in Ballinastoe Woods, which many visitors enjoy walking on.

To find the boardwalk, you can follow the specific directions provided. If you’re up for a longer hike, the Ballinastoe Woods, White Hill, and Djouce Mountain trail takes you through the forest and offers stunning scenic views.

Overall, Ballinastoe Forest is a great place for a peaceful and enjoyable walk surrounded by nature.

Best Hikes Around Dublin (under 1.5 hour drive away)

Explore the stunning natural beauty of Glendalough, just a short drive from Dublin.

6) Lough Ouler, Wicklow Mountains

Lough Ouler is one of the best hikes in Wicklow, known for its stunning beauty. Located in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains, this heart-shaped lake offers breathtaking views that highlight the hike.

The trail to Lough Ouler, known as the Tonelagee Mountain/Lough Ouler hike, is popular among nature enthusiasts and hikers looking for a memorable experience. Accessible within an hour’s drive from Dublin city centre, this scenic trail in the Wicklow Mountains National Park is definitely worth exploring.

7) Glendalough, Co. Wicklow

Wicklow Way Hikers on Glendalough Trail
Exploring The Best Dublin Walking Trails In And Around The Capital 38

Glendalough, located in the Wicklow Mountains National Park, about 50 kilometres from Dublin, is a picturesque area known for its hiking trails and historical sites. This beautiful region offers a range of hiking options suitable for different fitness levels.

As you explore Glendalough, you’ll come across the medieval Monastic City with its Celtic Crosses and ancient round towers. The famous Wicklow Way starts in south Dublin and passes through Glendalough, making it an ideal starting point or stopover for hikers on this popular trail.

Don’t forget to visit the seven church ruins scattered throughout Glendalough Valley. Some notable walking trails to check out include Minor’s Walk, Poulanass and St. Kevin’s Cell, and the Derrybawn Woodland Trail.

8) Slieve Foy, Cooley Peninsula, Co. Louth

Slieve Foy is the highest peak in the Cooley Mountains near Dublin. It’s a popular area for hiking and offers beautiful views of the surrounding landscape. The Slieve Foye Loop is a national loop walk that takes you to the mountain slopes above the medieval town of Carlingford.

Carlingford Town, Cooley Peninsula Walking Tours
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The walk mostly follows good paths marked with blue arrows, making it accessible for hikers. This challenging route is a great option for nature enthusiasts in Dublin looking for an adventure close to home.

9) Slieve Gullion, Northern Ireland

Slieve Gullion is a great hiking trail that the whole family can enjoy. The hike is easy and suitable for all fitness levels. You’ll be treated to stunning scenery and breathtaking views as you go up.

Hiking map of Cooley & Mourne Hiking Tour 8 days
Exploring The Best Dublin Walking Trails In And Around The Capital 40

You can see other peaks in the Ring of Gullion from the top, offering a truly magnificent sight. Slieve Gullion is not just any ordinary hike – it’s part of the Slieve Gullion Special Area of Conservation and the Ring of Gullion Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

You’ll encounter a summit lake, twin peaks, and even a Neolithic passage grave along the trail. To add to its charm, Slieve Gullion Forest Park surrounds the area with tranquil woodland trails and beautiful vistas to explore along your journey.

10) Bray Head

The Bray Head Walk is a great choice if you want stunning coastal views without too much effort. This hike offers incredible vistas of the sea and Bray’s seafront. It’s recommended to wear sturdy footwear or walking boots for this walk.

The Bray to Greystones Walk is another popular option for a coastal hike near Dublin, providing breathtaking views of the Irish coastlinegreen fields, and opportunities to spot wildlife.

If you’re looking for amazing views of Dublin City and the Dublin Mountains, the Bray Head Hillwalk is a must-do.

11) Loughcrew Cairns

Loughcrew Cairns is a remarkable historical site located just over an hour’s drive northwest of Dublin, in County Meath near Oldcastle. These ancient monuments are considered one of Meath’s hidden gems, featuring tombs dating back to 3,500 BC.

1629px Cairns S and T Loughcrew
Loughcrew. (2023, May 4). In Wikipedia.

As part of Ireland’s Boyne Valley, the Cairns were constructed during the Neolithic period around 3,000 BC. Guided tours are available for visitors to explore the historic hills and tombs of Loughcrew, offering a fascinating glimpse into Ireland’s ancient past.

Additional Hikes to Consider

Other notable hikes to consider in and around Dublin include exploring St. Stephen’s Green, embarking on the Bog of Frogs Loop, taking in the stunning views from Spinc and Glenealo Valley, hiking the Sugarloaf Loop Trail, or enjoying a scenic walk along Trim Castle River.

1) St. Stephen’s Green

St. Stephen’s Green is a beautiful park in the heart of Dublin. With its original Victorian design, it covers a sprawling 22 acres, making it the largest park in Dublin’s main Georgian garden squares.

The park is a favourite among locals and tourists alike, especially on sunny days when the easy walking paths are filled with people enjoying the outdoors. It’s a great place to relax, people-watch, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of daily life in Dublin.

Best of all, the entrance to St. Stephen’s Green is free so everyone can enjoy this wonderful green oasis in the middle of the city.

2) Bog of Frogs Loop

The Bog of Frogs Loop is a popular hiking trail in Howth, Dublin. It offers a variety of hills, gravel trails, rocky steps, and stunning views. The trail starts from the Howth Dart Station and passes through the village along the Howth golf course.

A highlight of the trail is walking along a boardwalk through the Bog of Frogs. The trail is approximately 12 km long with a gentle ascent of 240 meters, and it takes around 3 hours to complete.

3) Spinc and Glenealo Valley

The Spinc and Glenealo Valley are among the best hikes in Glendalough and the Wicklow Mountains National Park. It offers breathtaking views of the Glendalough Valley and surrounding areas.

The hike involves a tough climb but is rewarded with stunning scenery. The trail passes by old monastic ruins and takes you through forests, ridges, lakes, and valleys. It’s a popular hike among visitors, conveniently located near Dublin for a perfect day trip.

The trail is well-maintained, with good tracks, mountain paths, and boardwalks over wet or difficult sections.

4) Sugarloaf Loop Trail

The Sugarloaf Loop Trail is a 5.0-mile loop trail located in Wicklow County, just south of Dublin. It’s near Kilmacanoge and offers stunning Great Sugar Loaf Mountain views.

The trail is moderately challenging, but it’s worth the effort for the beautiful scenery you’ll encounter along the way. The hike to the Great Sugar Loaf Mountain summit takes about 2-3 hours and is suitable for beginners.

Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking 360-degree views of the surrounding landscape. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or new to hiking, the Sugarloaf Loop Trail is a must-visit destination for nature lovers in Dublin and its vicinity.

5) Trim Castle River Walk

The Trim Castle River Walk is a popular walking trail in Meath, Ireland. It starts at Trim Castle and takes around 30 minutes to complete. The route is well-marked and passes by historical sites, ending at the ruins of the 13th-century town of Newtown.

This tranquil trail offers scenic views and is associated with other hikes and trails in Dublin. Trim Castle serves as the starting point for this enjoyable walk.

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Andrew Parnell, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Conclusion

In conclusion, Dublin offers abundant beautiful walking trails for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts to explore. Many options are available if you’re looking for scenic hikes in the city or nearby areas.

From the stunning views at Ticknock and the Howth Cliff Walk’s coastal beauty to Glendalough’s tranquil surroundings, there’s something for everyone. So wear your walking shoes and embark on an adventure through Dublin’s best trails!

Dublin Walking Trails FAQ

What are some popular walking trails in Dublin?

Some popular walking trails in Dublin include the Dublin Hills Regional Park, Martin Canyon Creek Trail, and Phoenix Park.

Are there any dog-friendly walking trails in Dublin?

Yes, there are several dog-friendly walking trails in Dublin. You can explore the Dublin Hills Regional Park or the Martin Canyon Creek Trail with your furry friend.

Where can I find trail maps for Dublin walking trails?

You can find trail maps for Dublin walking trails at local visitor centres, online resources, or on the Dublin City Council’s website.

What are some scenic walking trails near Dublin?

Some scenic walking trails near Dublin include the trails in the Dublin Mountains, the Howth trails, and the Wicklow trails.

Are there any easy hiking trails in Dublin?

Yes, there are easy hiking trails in Dublin suitable for beginners. The Dublin Hills Regional Park and the Martin Canyon Creek Trail offer relatively easy terrain.

When is the best time to visit Dublin for hiking?

The best time to visit Dublin for hiking is during the month of August 2023 when the weather is generally pleasant and the trails are in good condition.

Are there any nature trails in Dublin?

Yes, there are nature trails in Dublin. You can explore the Dublin Hills Regional Park, Phoenix Park, and various trails in the Howth and Wicklow areas.

Which are the top 10 best walking trails in Dublin?

The top 10 best walking trails in Dublin include the Dublin Hills Regional Park, Martin Canyon Creek Trail, Phoenix Park, Howth trails, and Wicklow trails. These trails offer scenic views and diverse terrain.

Where can I find kid-friendly walking routes in Dublin?

You can find kid-friendly walking routes in Dublin at the Dublin City Council’s website or by exploring the Howth and Phoenix Park trails, which offer suitable paths for families.

Where can I find information about hiking trails near Dublin?

You can find information about hiking trails near Dublin at local visitor centres, online hiking forums, or by contacting Dublin tourism organizations. They can provide you with detailed information about trails in the Dublin area.

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