The Djouce Woods Walk: Two Trails To Tackle This Summer

djouce woods walk
Photo by CTatiana (Shutterstock)

The Djouce Woods walks are some of my favourite moderate walks in Wicklow.

There’s a short (The Blue Loop) and a long walk (The Deerpark Loop), both of which should be reasonably doable for most levels of fitness.

Each of the trails can be kicked off from one of two car parks on the Old Long Hill Road and each trail is clearly signposted.

In the guide below, you’ll get an overview of the two Djouce Woods walks, a map for each and some advice on what to keep an eye out for on the way.

Some quick need-to-knows about the Djouce Woods walk

djouce woods car park
Photo via Google Maps

The walks from Djouce Woods are two of the more straightforward walks in the area, especially when compared to the likes of the Lugnaquilla hike and Lough Ouler.

Below, you’ll find info on where to park (there’s two easy-to-find car parks) and how long each trail takes.

1. Parking

So, there are two Djouce car parks to choose from. You’ll find them on the Old Long Hill Road (pop ‘Ballinteskin Coillte’ into Google Maps and you’ll find it easily). Note: As a visit to the woods is one of the more popular things to do in Wicklow, it can get busy here at weekends, so arrive early.

2. Two trails

There are 2 different ways to explore the forest here, however, our favourite trails are The Blue Loop (4.5km 1.5 hours) and The Deerpark Loop (9km 3 hours). The Blue Loop is the handier of the two.

3. This isn’t the mountain walk

People often mistake the Djouce Woods walk for the Djouce Mountain Walk, which takes you to the summit of Djouce. This is a walk is through the woodland near the mountain. If you want to tackle the mountain, see this guide.

Djouce Woods walk #1: The Blue Loop

Djouce woods map
Map via Coillte

The Blue Loop is the shorter of the two and is more suited to an easy afternoon stroll. Less than 5km long, it’s a lovely forest walk and you’ll be able to take in some savage views of Powerscourt Waterfall on the way. Here’s some quick need to knows:

Parking

There are two car parks on the Old Long Hill Road. You can park in either of these. Pop ‘Djouce Woods Ballinteskin Coillte Car Park’ or ‘53.1552726, -6.1863605’ into Google Maps and you’ll find the one for the trail below.

Difficulty level

Neither walk will be too taxing, though the Deerpark Loop does reach a higher elevation and is steep in parts so a raincoat and sturdy hiking boots are recommended. Visibility can be poor and the weather is changeable in the higher sections of the walk so it’s best to prepare!

How long it takes + map

The Blue Route at Djouce should take you between 1 and 1.5 hours, depending on pace and how long you stop off to admire views. Here’s a map of the trail.

An overview of the Blue Loop Trail

djouce woods walk
Photo by CTatiana (Shutterstock)

Follow the trail down the hill from the Djouce Woods car park and keep following until you reach a track veering left into the forest (keep an eye out for the blue arrows).

Head down for 600 metres or so into the floor of the valley where you’ll get some wonderful views of the landscape around you.

Continue on at the next crossing and follow the track slightly to left and after a little while, you should be able to see Powerscourt Waterfall emerge on the right-hand side. 

Continuing uphill

The walk then becomes a steady uphill climb, with the river Dargle flowing through the valley down on your right. There’s a tight left turn (look out for the arrows) back into the forest track after a kilometre or so (this can be easy to miss).

From here the terrain should level out after a while and, for a moment, the forest actually subsides, and you should be able to get a glimpse of Wicklow’s greatest hits once again – Djouce Mountain, Maulin and Powerscourt Waterfall, of course. 

Getting back to the car park

Head back into the forest once more and look out for the red loop markers. The trail is the same for both trails from this point.

Keep following the arrows until you reach the second car park on Long Hill Road (not the one you parked in if you followed the info above). Keep following the trail and you’ll be taken back up to the first car park (see dotted blue lines on map above).

Djouce woods walk #2: The Deerpark Loop

the longer forest loop
Map via Coillte

The Djouce Woods Deerpark Loop, also known as the ‘Red Loop’, is a good bit longer than the Blue Loop ,so if you’re in the mood for stretching your legs a bit more then this might be the one to go for! Here’s some quick need to knows:

Parking

There are two car parks on the Old Long Hill Road. You can park in either of these (stick ‘Djouce Woods Ballinteskin Coillte Car Park’ into Google Maps and you’ll find the one for the trail below).

Difficulty level

The Deerpark Loop isn’t overly hard, but it is long (see below) so a moderate level of fitness is needed. Or, you can always just take little pit stops on the way to break it up.

How long it takes + map

The Deerpark route is 9km long and you’ll get treated to some deadly views of Great Sugarloaf, Maulin, Powerscourt Waterfall and beyond over the course of 3 hours, depending on pace/stops. Here’s a map of the trail.

An overview of the Deerpark Trail

the trail
Photo by CTatiana (Shutterstock)

The longer Deerpark Loop follows the same trail as the Blue Loop up until you reach Powerscourt Waterfall (keep an eye out for the red arrows).

When you reach the waterfall, walk to the end of the Paddock Ponds and then head right, crossing the small stream while looking out for the red loop post that will point you in the direction of the trail up on your left. 

The terrain here is dry and your walk will be flanked by purple heather (well, it’s purple in the summer anyway!) with a slightly haphazard rocky wall on the left-hand side. 

Getting into the belly of the walk

You’ll reach a farmer’s gate after around 1km and if you keep walking on, you’ll eventually come to a plateau.

Pass the stile with the Wicklow Waymarker on it (going towards Djouce Mountain) and make your way straight on and down for 200 metres before passing by another stile.

This 2.5 km forest track contains some mighty views of Maulin and Great Sugarloaf so stop and drink it all in! On clear days you should be able see to see all the way to Dublin and Howth (though clear days are, of course, never a given in Ireland!). 

Making your way back to the car

The trail here will direct you back to the Paddock Ponds and you should be able to link up with the Blue Loop which will take you back through the forest and home to the Long Hill Road car park. 

If you’re in doubt at any point, whip out Google Maps and use the little pointer that shows you which direction you’re facing to help you find your way back to the starting point.

Neither of these Djouce woods walks should give you too much trouble and are absolutely perfect for an afternoon ramble!  

FAQs about the Djouce Woods walk

the deerpark walk
Photo by CTatiana (Shutterstock)

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from where is the Djouce woods car park to how long the different walks take.

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.

Where do I park for Djouce Woods?

So, there are two Djouce Woods car parks to choose from. You’ll find them on the Old Long Hill Road (pop ‘Ballinteskin Coillte’ into Google Maps and you’ll find it easily).

How long do the walks take?

The Blue Loop is 4.5km and takes 1.5 hours to complete, while the Deerpark Loop is 9km and takes around 3 hours.

Are the Djouce Woods walks hard?

The Blue Loop is a pretty leisurely stroll while the longer Deerpark Loop is harder, but will suit a moderate level of fitness.

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