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Planning a trip to Ireland and looking to experience some of the best Dublin hikes? You’ve landed yourself in the right place.
There are hundreds of amazing hikes that you can enjoy in and around Dublin City. From laid-back coastal walks to challenging summits within the nearby Dublin Mountains, there are trails to accommodate groups, solo hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts of every fitness level.
Read below to learn about the top hiking trails near Dublin, the best walking paths within the city limits, and helpful hiking tips to help you make the most out of your Dublin adventure!
1. Robswall Park Hillside Hike
Less than 45 minutes outside of the city center, you’ll find one of the top Dublin hikes: the Robswall Park Hillside hike in Co. Dublin.
This short 1.5 mile loop trail is popular among locals as it’s rated an easy route, taking about 35-40 minutes to complete. Visitors love to frequent this trail to run, walk with dogs (leashes required) or their little ones, and enjoy Malahide Beach.
If you want to enjoy a longer walk, you can take a detour to the 12th century Malahide Castle in Demesne Regional Park. This historical castle is just 14 kilometers (9 miles) north of Central Dublin and offers private and self-guided tours for a small fee.
2. Howth Cliff Walk
Howth Cliff Walk is one of the most popular moderate Dublin hikes — and for good reason. It’s often overlooked by tourists, but the cliff walk around Howth is loved amongst locals.
There are four color-coded and well marked routes you can take:
- Howth Cliff Path Loop (green) – about 3.5 miles, about 2 hours to complete
- Tramline Loop (blue) – just under 4.5 miles, about 2 hours to complete
- Black Linn Loop (red) – just under 5 miles, about 2.5 hours to complete
- Bog of Frogs Loop (purple) – about 7.5 miles, up to 4 hours to complete (a challenging one!)
Regardless of which route you choose, you will certainly enjoy magnificent views of lighthouses and remote beaches along the way!
The trail is easily accessible from Dublin via the 24 minute DART train to the fishing village of Howth, or by driving the short 15 km (9.3 miles) by car. The hiking path begins conveniently at the DART station.
Definitely wear shoes with traction (hiking shoes as opposed to runners) and layers are always a good idea in Ireland (and something water resistant for those sudden rains)!
As this is near a cliff, be careful (especially if strong winds arise). And keep an eye on children if you bring them. Also dogs must be leashed at all times.
3. Slievethoul Trail
The Slievethoul Trail (also known as Saggart Hill) can be found on the western edge of the Dublin Mountains. This Dublin hike is a lovely, relatively easy forest walk. If you love the woods, you’ll enjoy this one. But don’t expect vast mountain outlooks here.
There are two different trail routes you can choose to explore. The first one is the Slievethoul Lugg Loop which is an easy 9 kilometer figure-8 walk that takes up to two hours to complete.
The second is the Saggart Hill Loop which is an easy 4 kilometer loop through that woods that usually takes an hour to complete.
After reaching the summit, you’ll find an archaeological site with two monuments: a megalithic tomb dating between 3500-3000 BC, and a ring-barrow from the Bronze/Iron Age tradition (c.2400 BC to 400 AD).
4. Ticknock Walk
Less than a 30 minutes drive from Dublin city center is Ticknock Walk, a beautiful network of mountain and forest walks.
It’s a stone’s throw from the city, but you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to an enchanted wilderness. It’s also easily accessible via public transportation.
It’s a moderately challenging trail, and the length varies from where you start.
The Fairy Castle Loop is one of the more common ones taken. It’s just under 3.5 mi and should take you under 2 hours to complete. Regardless of the route you take, you’ll explore trails that wind through enchanting forests and mountain terrain with incredible views.
One of the best lookout points to enjoy sweeping views of the greater Dublin area is from the top of Three Rock Mountain.
5. Wicklow Way
The Wicklow Way is the oldest, and some say the most scenic long-distance walk in Ireland. It’s about 130km (roughly 81mi) long and crosses the Wicklow Mountains from Dublin down to Clonegal.
It’s a very popular walk in Ireland, and it’s split into sections for those not interested in walking an insane amount of miles.
You could do it all and make this a several day trip (like 7+ days), much like the Dingle Way on the west coast. There are accommodations along the way to break at on your journey.
Wicklow Way is one of Ireland’s oldest designated trails, and is now part of the long-distance self-guided walking trails network (also known as ‘way-marked ways’). It’s home to mountain backdrops, upland lakes, glacial valleys, lush forests, and rolling farmland. Really gorgeous stuff (Ireland is truly paradise 😍)!
Be aware that this very long route tests the physical endurance of even the most fit walkers and runners, so plan accordingly!
One of the most picturesque hiking and walking spots within Wicklow National Park is Glendalough. Home to glacier valleys, stunning lakes, a monastic site, and several hiking trails, the landscape is a picturesque dream.
The Glendalough valley is just over an hour from Dublin city center by car, making it the perfect place for a day trip to escape urban life.
Featuring hiking trails ranging from easy to advanced, there is something for all fitness levels to enjoy:
- Spinc and the Wicklow Way (red route) – This is a strenuous route and a long one, coming in at 11.8km (close to 7.5mi). There’s a steep climb at the beginning by the Poulanass Waterfall, continues up a winding trail (for a great view) and then leads to an open mountain trail. It’s fairly rough terrain and should take about 4 hours. It’s marked with red arrows.
- Spinc and Glenealo Valley Walk (White Route) – This is a strenuous 9.7km (6mi) walk that will take about 3.5 hours. It’s a steep climb at the beginning (by the waterfall) and skirts around a cliff. If you can do it, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Glendalough Valley. This route is marked by white arrows.
- Spinc Walk (Short Route) – Don’t be fooled by this walk being labeled short route; it’s a strenuous level hike. It starts with a steep ascent by the Poulanass Waterfall, and then on another climb, and then along a cliff’s edge. The walk is 6km (3.7mi) and will take about 2 hours. This route is marked by blue arrows.
- Poulanass Walk (Pink Route) – This route is marked w/ pink arrows and is 1.7km (just about 1mi). It’s a steep climb by the Poulanass Waterfall at the beginning. The path crosses over the waterfall and into peaceful woodlands. It’s a moderate level hike and should take about 45 mins to an hour to complete.
- Green Road Walk – This one is a really easy stroll, marked by green arrows. You’ll walk past a lake and through woodlands. It’s 3km (just under 2mi) and should take you about just under an hour.
- Woodland Road (Silver Route) – This route is a moderate level and will take you through woodlands, past a lake, and through wetlands as well. It’s got some really beautiful views of various scenery and is 4.7km (just under 3mi). It will take about just under 2 hours and is marked with silver arrows.
- Derrybawn Woodland Trail (Orange Route) – This is a moderate level route marked with orange arrows. You’ll ascend by the Poulanass Waterfall and walk through a forest road. There will be another short climb, which will score you a lovely view of the Glendalough Valley. The trail is 7.3km (4.5mi) and will take about 2 hours.
- Miners Road Walk (Purple Route) – This is an easy level, sandy road path along a lake. It’s a 5.4km (close to 3.5mi) walk with pretty views of the Upper Lake and mountainside. It’s marked with purple arrows and will take close to an hour and a half.
7. Bray Head Walk
This easy going trail is just outside the seaside town of Bray. You’ll be treated to views of the Irish Sea, the Wicklow mountains, as well as views of Dublin itself.
Bray Head Walk will only take you about an hour, but maybe a bit longer if you’re stopping for views and photo opps.
After working up an appetite, head into the town of Bray to warm up with a coffee or tea in one of its cozy cafes. Or fill up at La Piazza for pizzas or other Mediterranean specialties (and a couple of pints, of course).
8. Tibradden Wood Walk
The Tibradden Woods is a wild terrain of forest and granite boulders and is one of the most beautiful Dublin hikes!
The Tibradden Mountain Trail is a moderate level, roughly 2.5km (1.5mi) forest stroll to the summit in less than 2 hours.
Once there, you’ll take in amazing views, a great archaeological site, and an open cairn and kist burial site. It’s the perfect place to rest and take a break before turning back.
9. Hellfire Club
Don’t let the name fool you. The Hellfire Club walk, also known as the “Montpelier Walk,” is an easy to moderate 4 km (roughly 2.5 mi) loop. It’ll take you about 1 to 1.5 hours to walk it.
Beginning at the Hellfire car park, you’ll head to the Hellfire Lodge on Montpelier Hill to take in amazing views over Dublin City. You’ll even be able to see Dublin Bay and Howth Head!
The Hellfire Club lodge has been one of the most famous Dublin landmarks since the 18th century. It’s also known as one of the most haunted places in Ireland with centuries old tales of black magic and devil worshiping.
Today, it simply stands in a beautiful ruin that’s a unique place to explore or have a picnic.
To explore more of the Dublin Mountains, the Carrickgollogan Forest Walk is a moderate yet addicting network of trails.
Just 17km (10.5mi) south of Dublin, there are a couple different routes to choose from at Carrickgollogan.
The first trail option is the Lead Mines Way loop that will take you through some woods and to the historic Lead Mines chimney. This easy walk is about 2km (1.25mi) and will take about 40 minutes.
The second trail option is the Mountain Access Route that will take you to the Viewing Rock for panoramas of County Dublin and beyond. This one is a bit shorter than the first, but it’s a bit of a steep climb. It’s about half a kilometer (a third of a mile), and will take about 30 minutes.
Parking is free but the lot is small. So get there early, especially on the weekends.
11. Djouce Mountain
Known as one of the most accessible summits in the Dublin Mountains, Djouce Mountain is a strenuous hike that ascends 2,379 feet above sea level.
Ranging from seven to 13 kilometers (4.3 to eight miles) in distance depending on the route you take, you can enjoy stunning views of the Wicklow Mountain range and even parts of Wales from the summit on a clear day.
The trail has two entry points: the Crone Woods car park or the J.B. Malone car park. Plan to spend three to five hours here, maybe more if the weather isn’t quite cooperating.
12. Djouce Woods Walk
The Djouce Woods Walk is not to be mistaken with the Djouce Mountain. They are two completely different experiences!
The Djouce Woods Walk is an enjoyable stroll through the woodland near the mountain. Here, there are two different trails you can follow to explore the forest:
The Blue Loop is marked with blue markers and is 4.5 km (just under 3 mi) and about 1.5 hours. And the Deerpark Loop is about 9 km (5.5 mi) and roughly 3 hours. The Blue Loop is obviously the shorter and easier of the two.
You can find parking at Old Long Hill Road (search for ‘Ballinteskin Coillte’ in Google Maps). This is a smaller lot and gets busy on the weekends, so arrive early.
13. Great Sugarloaf
Another great place to hike in the north-eastern section of the Wicklow Mountains is Great Sugarloaf. The summit offers panoramic views of Dublin City and the Irish Sea.
You can start the Great Sugarloaf hike from the little car park right beside it on red Lane for the longer hike. For a shortened version (about 7 km – 4.3 mi), you can park at Fitzsimons Park GAA ground. Arrive early as these lots fill up quickly.
It’s a fairly steep ascent and be careful on your way down. It’s labeled as a strenuous level hike.
14. Ballinastoe Forest
You’ve probably seen The Ballinastoe Woods on Instagram or in popular travel magazines. Its Lord-of-the-Rings boardwalk has become one of Ireland’s most famous trails.
As part of the Wicklow Way, Ballinastoe Forest is one of the best places to spend a day trip from Dublin, especially if you need to stretch your legs during the Sally Gap Drive.
Ballinastoe offers three different walks of varying lengths, ranging from 30 minutes to 3.5 hours to complete.
The easiest is a half-mile trail on the boardwalk with a view from the JB Malone Memorial. This is the red line route.
The second option is a one-mile trail (the purple markers) to the Memorial with views of Lough Tay and beyond.
The third option (the blue line) is a three mile trail down part of the Slí na Sláinte trail.
As the 11th highest peak in Ireland, Lugnaquilla (‘Lug’) in the Wicklow Mountains is not one of Dublin’s hikes to take lightly.
This vast, flat-topped plateau may not look as intimidating as the Great Sugarloaf, but it’s nonetheless impressive. In fact, its two trails are considered the most difficult Dublin hikes!
Lug experiences wetter, windier, and colder weather than the rest of Ireland. The best way to ensure a safe hike is to arrive at the starting point early, bring a hiking buddy, and check the weather prior to taking to the trail.
Take all precaution with this one as it’s difficult and no trails are marked on the mountain. This Dublin hike is really for the experienced hikers.
Dublin Hikes FAQ’s
Is Dublin good for hiking?
There are plenty of Dublin hikes that outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels can enjoy. There are numerous trails and scenic look out points just outside the city that are popular with both locals and visitors year-round.
Mere minutes from the heart of the city, you can find stunning coastline and fresh salted air. Many of these hikes offer a wide variety of terrains that provide great views and are suitable for almost anyone at any fitness level.
If you prefer to stay within the city limits to stretch your legs on an easier walk or hike, there are plenty of options there, too! A few of the most popular walking trails include St. Stephen’s Green, the Poolbeg Lighthouse Walk, Phoenix Park, and the Liffey River Walk.
Where are the nearest mountains to Dublin?
If you’ve read through this whole post, then you know Dublin has its very own mountain range. The Wicklow Mountains (also known as the Dublin Mountains) have some of the most scenic walking and hiking trails in the world.
The range offers walking paths, biking trails, and stunning coastal overlooks for more than 43 kilometers. It’s the largest continuous upland area in Ireland, and forms the impressive Wicklow Mountains National Park.
Does Ireland have good hiking?
Without a doubt, Ireland offers some of the best hiking trails in the world. The sheer volume of trails alone is nothing to scoff at. Currently, beyond just Dublin hikes, there are more than 2,000 hiking trails throughout Ireland that can be found on AllTrails.com.
From the low-lying landscapes of the Midlands to breathtaking Emerald coastlines, if it’s hiking trails you’re seeking, there are plenty of Dublin hikes to experience. For avid hikers looking to see more of the island, the Croagh Patrick in County Mayo and the Carrauntoohil Mountain in County Kerry are two of the highest peaks in Ireland.