If you’re looking to go hiking in Dublin, there are several mighty Dublin Mountains walks to tackle.
Regardless of which one you head off one, this corner of the capital is home to endless adventure opportunities.
Below, you’ll find our favourite Dublin Mountain walks along with easy-to-follow guides to each trail. Lace up your walking shoes and dive on in!
Some quick need-to-knows about the Dublin Mountains
Although a visit to some parts of the mountains in Dublin is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
Located to the south of the city, the Dublin Mountains are actually an extension of the Wicklow Mountains that cross over within the borders of County Dublin and thus become known locally as the Dublin Mountains. The drive out to the mountains from Dublin should only take around 30 minutes.
2. Home to several great trails
Whatever your levels of fitness or experience, there are a ton of great Dublin Mountain walks to explore and no end of cracking views to enjoy, whether that’s back toward the city and coast or southwards over to Wicklow.
3. Leave no trace
If you’re going to spend a few hours up in this lovely natural habitat, then you should show a bit of respect for the land you’re enjoying. Among other things, the Dublin Mountains Partnership’s Leave No Trace campaign encourages walkers to dispose of waste properly, be considerate of others and to respect farm animals and wildlife.
Our favourite Dublin Mountain walks
Right – now that we have the need-to-knows out of the way, it’s time to take you through our favourite walks in the Dublin Mountains.
Below, you’ll find everything from the Ticknock Walk and Cruagh Woods to Tibradden, the Hellfire Club and more.
1. Ticknock Fairy Castle Loop
- Length: 5.5km
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Time: 1.5 to 2 hours
The Ticknock Fairy Castle Loop is arguably the best known of the many Dublin Mountain walks, and it’s a favourite amongst locals and tourists alike.
Although there are several trails here, it’s the Fairy Castle Loop that we keep coming back to. It kicks off from the often-packed car park near the Zipit centre and takes you to the summit of Three Rock Mountain.
The trail is way-marked (yellow arrows) and it’s reasonably easy to follow, for the most part. Expect stunning views of everywhere from Bray Head and the Wicklow Mountains to Dublin City and more on a clear day.
2. The Hellfire Club
- Length: 5.5km
- Difficulty: Difficult
- Time: 1.5 hours
While the name suggests a trek into a very dangerous place indeed, on the Hellfire Club walk you’ll actually be heading toward Montpelier Hill (the Hellfire Club is the popular name given to the ruined building at the summit believed to be one of the first Freemason lodges in Ireland).
Even so, this 5.5km walk needs a reasonable level of fitness if you’re going to give it a go this weekend. When you arrive at the carpark, you’ll notice the entrance to the main forest road, which goes up around the top of the hill.
As you make your way up the southern slopes of the hill, you’ll be treated to a spectacular view of the Piperstown Gap. And as mysterious as the Hellfire Club ruins might be, the panoramas over Dublin are just as seductive as any ghost story!
3. Cruagh Woods
- Length: 5km
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Time: 1hr
Cruagh Woods’ name in historical records goes back almost 1000 years and this area of south Dublin on the borderland of the Pale was known as “the Harold’s country” from the powerful family of that name that dominated the area.
Of course, these days the era of suspicious landowners is long behind us and we’re able to explore to our heart’s content! The Cruagh Woods Walk is an excellent, short ramble.
Head up this moderate trail towards the summit of Cruagh Mountain where – with its highest point at some 522m above sea level – you’ll enjoy some savage views over Dublin (weather permitting!). You can also access Tibradden (Pine) Forest and Massy’s Wood from Cruagh Wood and eventually The Wicklow Way.
4. Tibradden Wood Walk
- Length: 2.5km
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Time: 2hrs
Speaking of Tibradden! While not as lofty as some of the other walks in this list, the Tibradden Wood Walk is another of the more popular Dublin Mountains walks.
offers some of the most diverse forest experiences available in the Dublin Mountains. Flora and fauna abound along this tranquil two-hour walk located just off the R116.
A veritable buffet of nature, you’ll come across Scots pine, Japanese larch, European larch, Sitka spruce, oak and beech, while Heather, furze, gorse and bilberry grow in abundance and Sika deer, foxes and badgers are likely to make sporadic appearances during your walk.
The highest point of Tibradden is also home to cairn and kist burial site (a burial urn taken from it is housed in the National Museum in Dublin).
5. Carrickgollogan Forest Walk
- Length: 2.5km
- Difficulty: Easy
- Time: 1 hour
Lead mining and smelting took place at the Ballycorus lead mine in the early 19th-century and continued until it was closed in the 1920s.
It’s this history that forms the Lead Mines Way, a 2.3 km looped walk starting from the carpark that should take approximately 40 minutes to complete.
And, of course, if you’re going to check out the Carrickgollogan Forest Walk then we’d advise that you head onto the Mountain Access Trail, especially if it’s a clear day.
This short spur route off the Lead Mines Way leads to the summit of Carrickgollogan (278m) where, if the weather’s playing ball, there’s an awesome 360-degree panorama waiting to be discovered.
6. Dublin Mountains Way
- Length: 42km
- Difficulty: Strenuous
- Time: 2 days
The mountains in Dublin are home to plenty of long walking routes, however, none match what the mighty Dublin Mountains Way offers.
The 42.6 km national way-marked trail crosses the mountains in Dublin from Shankill in the east to Tallaght in the west and takes in a ton of well-known landmarks and viewpoints along the way.
Beginning in a westerly direction on the main street in Shankill, you’ll head up past the curious Fairy Castle along towards the equally mysterious Hellfire Club.
Plough on through Featherbed forest where there are fantastic views towards the Wicklow Uplands and the summits of Kippure and Corrig Mountains. Head on to the beautiful 4km journey alongside the reservoirs of Bohernabreena before finishing up at Tallaght.
Other worthwhile walks in Dublin
If you’ve polished off the various Dublin Mountains walks mentioned above, there are plenty of other great walks in Dublin to try.
Below, you’ll find handy walks, like Killiney Hill, to trickier trails, like the Bog of Frogs Loop in Howth, worth checking out.
1. Killiney Hill
If you’re looking for glorious, panoramic views but you don’t fancy trying your hand at hiking in Dublin, the very easy Killiney Hill walk is worth a look. It only takes around 20 minutes to reach the viewing point if you park in the main car park and the views are incredible.
2. Howth Cliff Walk
With its cinematic coastal scenes and easy-to-follow trail, the number one reason to visit Howth would be the famous Howth Cliff Walk. The 1.5-hour walk begins at Howth Summit car park and takes you north to Howth Head Peak where you should have some deadly views of Ireland’s Eye and Lambay Island.
3. Poolbeg Lighthouse Walk
Stretching from Sandymount Strand out along the Great Sand Wall to Poolbeg Lighthouse in Dublin Bay, the South Wall Walk is about 5km one way and should take an hour there and an hour back. The great red shape of the lighthouse is a pretty cool landmark and it dates back to 1768, although its current redesigned form dates from 1820.
FAQs about the best Dublin Mountain walks
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from which Dublin Mountain walks are the hardest to which mountains in Dublin are easiest to climb.
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.
What are the best Dublin Mountain walks?
In our opinion, the finest Dublin Mountain walks are Ticknock, Cruagh Woods, Tibradden Wood and Carrickgollogan Forest.
Which Dublin Mountain walks are the most impressive?
The views from both Ticknock and the Hellfire Club are impressive, however, there’s something special about Carrickgollogan and Cruagh.