Straddling the Wicklow and Wexford border, Croghan Mountain (aka Croghan Kinsella) is about as far-flung as the Wicklow Mountains get!
But if you want to conquer them all, then get down to Croghan and take on one of its three walks (they’re well worth tackling!).
In the guide below, you’ll find info on everything from where to park and what to expect to details on each trail.
Some quick need-to-knows about Croghan Mountain
So, the Croghan Mountain walk isn’t as straightforward as some of the walks in Wexford, so it’s worth taking 30 seconds to read the bullet points below.
Situated at the far southeastern end of the Wicklow Mountains on the Wicklow and Wexford border, parts of Croghan Mountain are a 20-minute drive from Gorey, a 25-minute drive from Arklow and a 40-minute spin from Enniscorthy.
2. The windfarm
Located on Croghan’s eastern slopes, one sight you definitely won’t be able to avoid during your time here is Raheenleagh Wind Farm and its 11 large white wind turbines. The wind farm was granted planning permission in 2012 and opened on the 20th of September 2016.
You’ll find a car park near The White Heaps (here on Google Maps) with a bit of parking. It only really tends to get busy here at the weekends when the weather is fine.
4. Three trails to tackle
With three different trails to tackle, there’s plenty of variety to be found at Croghan Mountain. All three begin at the spot (the car park mentioned above), but offer a range of ascents, formats and degrees of difficulty.
About Croghan Mountain
Reaching a height of 1,988 ft, Croghan Mountain (or Croghan Kinsella, as it’s also known) is the 211th–highest peak in Ireland according to the Arderin scale.
That Kinsella name derives from the Irish Cruachán Uí Chinnsealaigh, meaning ‘little stack of the Kinsella family. The Kinsellas were once the dominant Gaelic family in the area and it was used to differentiate it from the other “Cruachan” mountains.
Croghan is also the starting point of the River Bann. Rising from the southern slopes of Croghan, the river flows south and is joined by the Blackwater Stream near the village of Hollyfort before joining the River Slaney north of Enniscorthy.
The different Croghan Mountain walks
There are several different ways to climb Croghan Mountain in Wexford with trail lengths ranging from 4.2km to 7km.
Below, you’ll find an overview for each trail along with a map to give you a sense of the route.
1. Forde Farmhouse Trail
- Length: 4.2km
- Time: 1 hour
- Format: Loop
- Difficulty: Moderate
The Forde family were the last residents of Raheenleagh hill and this trail pays homage to the land they once tilled until the hard winters of the early 1940s forced the Fordes off the Mountain to lower ground.
Begin from the car park and follow the waymarks with white arrows on green backgrounds. The trail begins with a right turn before veering left and past the site of the Forde Family’s old farmhouse.
Head past the nearby windmill and turn back east across the mountain before turning right again and heading back to the car park. Even though this walk doesn’t take you to the summit (the ascent is only 60 metres), you’ll still get some lovely views across the Wexford countryside!
2. Croghan Trail
- Length: 7km
- Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Format: Linear
- Difficulty: Moderate
The longest of the Croghan Mountain walks at 7km, the Croghan Trail is the one you’re looking for if you want to hike up to the mountain’s summit.
Begin from the car park and follow the waymarks with blue arrows on white backgrounds. Turn right when you start but keep to the right-hand side (instead of veering left towards Forde’s Farmhouse) and continue climbing (it’s a 160 metre ascent).
Turn left at the first windmill you see after you pass the source of the River Bann. This will then take you in a linear fashion directly up to the summit of Croaghan Mountain where you can enjoy stunning views all the way to the Wexford coast on a clear day. Head back the way you came to return!
3. Bann River Trail
- Length: 5.5km
- Time: 2 hours
- Format: Loop
- Difficulty: Moderate
Though not the longest of the walks, the Bann River Trail is the one that takes the longest to complete at 2 hours. For this one, you need to begin from the Raheenleagh Forest Car Park and follow the waymarks with red arrows on white backgrounds.
Follow the arrows up to the old Forde Farmhouse but make sure you turn left rather than continuing straight on.
From here, it’s essentially a larger version of the Forde Farmhouse loop that bears east across Forde’s Hill and then heads south past the source of the River Bann.
Enjoy the lovely views before rejoining the same trail as the other walks and head back to the car park.
Things to do near Croghan Mountain
One of the beauties of Croghan Mountain is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Wexford.
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Croghan.
1. Wexford Lavender Farm (20-minute drive)
Ireland’s only commercial lavender farm is a pretty unique (and colourful!) spot to visit if you’re in the area, so why not? Located around 20 minutes southeast of Croghan Mountain, you can take a tour of Wexford Lavender Farm and buy all the lavender you’ll ever need!
2. Tara Hill (30-minute drive)
With two trails of differing levels of difficulty and some cracking views of the Wexford coast, Tara Hill is a good option if you’d like a hike closer to the Irish Sea. Not to be confused with the more famous Hill of Tara in County Meath, Tara Hill is around a 30-minute drive from Croghan Mountain.
3. Glendalough (40-minute drive)
Although famous for its stunning monastic ruins, Glendalough is also the starting point for a variety of walks of differing distances and difficulties. A 40-minute drive north of Croghan Mountain into the Wicklow Mountains, even the smaller handier walks provide you with some gorgeous scenery to enjoy!
FAQs about climbing Croghan Mountain
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Where do you park?’ to ‘Which trail is the easiest?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
How long does it take to climb Croghan Mountain?
Depending on the trail you take, it’ll vary between 1 and 2 hours. Allow longer to soak up the views.
Is the Croghan Mountain walk tough?
The walks on Croghan are moderately difficult and a good level of fitness is required for all three.