Explore the most popular birding trails in Ireland with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

It’s a great hike. We went when I was snowy so it was quite icy. We went clockwise and I am happy we did the stairs first. It’s a beautiful view and it took us about 3:30 because of the wind, ice and snow.

Thoroughly enjoyed this trail. A few observations:

- This trail starts on a downhill so be ready to finish on a steep uphill when you may be tired.

- You can get discreetly into Powerscourt Waterfall for free this way, but shhh, don't tell anyone ;-)

- Terrain is rough, muddy and overgrown with gorse in places, so wear decent boots and outerwear

- Trail starts off in mostly commercial, managed evergreen woods but there is lovely old, deciduous woodland at the floor of the valley

- Look out for nice distant views of Powerscourt Waterfall as you start out

- The car park closes at 4pm in winter so watch out for that. If you don't want to race the clock, there is some limited parking available on the road outside the car park; just use that.

As an escape from a multi-generation family vacation my wife and I got to sneek out for nature fun. This hike was a well needed relief. Gorgeous views easy route finding and just enough steep stuff to keep the heart rate up.(nice in January) The "ladder" part was steep and supper loose looking from below but the wet mossy rocks were extra sticky. Of course be careful but it's not as bad as it looks. The summit was as to be expected. Beautiful! Car to car took us five hours with picture stops and beer beaks. If you're in the area and get a good weather window this hike is a must. Have fun.

I started with climbing Bray head, and walked over the cliffs to Greystones. On the end of the path you can turn right that brings you to the road where you can go to Greystones, or you can climb down the rocks for maybe 2 meters and you will find a steep wild path that will bring you to the original cliff trail. I did the last one. Then I went back by the original cliff trail to Bray. But you can also take the DART.
Personaly, I find the upper trail over the cliffs more beautiful then the original trail.

Nice view and good track.
Took the Devil's ladder to go to the top and the loop back down
Ladder seems quite dangerous going down but is fun going up
The Loop may be longer than the Devil but takes the same amount of time

Should be done on sunny day. We needed 7,5h including two bigger breaks

Completed on Sept. 13 2017. Wonderful hike! My sister and I have hiked in lots of locations around the world, we both agreed that this one was incredibly unique. Views of ruins, lakes, wildlife including sheep, deer and goats. Do the hike counterclockwise around lake. Makes summiting the mountain much more enjoyable!

Beautiful forest and trails past the Torc Waterfall.

One of my favorite places on Earth, so far. I hiked the cliff walk with my daughter and it was beautiful and so peaceful. Be sure to carry a light rain jacket, since you never know when there will be a light sprinkle. I love Greystones.

We went counter clockwise around the lake and were glad we did. Amazing views of the lakes in the valley! It was dry at the bottom but walking along the ridge at the top it rained a lot. It is Ireland afterall, so we were prepared with rain gear and still had a great hike.

This trail is absolutely beautiful, especially for someone like me who's not used to seeing so much greenery. Once you get to the Torc Waterfall, which is about 5 minutes from the car park, you can choose 1 of 3 paths: blue, yellow, or red. I did most of the blue path, which is considered the "moderate" one, and takes about an hour. The red is hard and takes you all the way up Torc Mountain. For the blue trail, it's only a little steep from the waterfall until the paths split, then it's easy and gorgeous. It crosses over the road, so you can continue along Muckross Lake. Unfortunately, the weather was slightly rainy when I went, so I didn't get to see the amazing views that these trails are known for. But it's still gorgeous scenery and so peaceful.

great spot...great views and nice challenging walk and ideal for kids...took about 2 hours with kids

I was dead set on knocking this out while I was in Ireland and staying in Killarney. Originally I had wanted to do the horseshoe route to the east but the threat of high winds and rains did not make for a good mix on the ridge lines. The weather forecast was looking pretty miserable and included thunderstorms on the only day I would have a chance. To beat the weather I decided to be at the trail head around 4:30 am, i wanted 3:30 am but I couldn't find a taxi willing to take me out there that early (~30 euros). There are no real shuttles to the trail head at Cronin's Yard. After arriving at Cronin's Yard I headed out along the well worn rocky trail. The trail gently rises from the yard to the base of the mountain where the Devil's Ladder begins. The first light of day was already visible around 4:45 am as I left the yard. Fortunately the clouds were up near the peak and the valley was visible. Even with it raining and blowing sideways the unbelievable beauty of the lush green valley and waterfalls were a knockout. After passing between the two lakes I hit the base of the ladder and began the ascent. The devils ladder is essentially a steep chute filled with scree, talus and running water. Although the elevation and gain remind me of the Appalachians, the rugged terrain and slopes reminded me of the Rockies but covered in grass. The loose scree in the ladder would have been interesting on a dry day but the running stream that zig zagged back and forth really loosened up the material. I spent most of the climb navigating back and forth looking for larger rocks to scramble around on and to stay out of the water. I could definitely see why people regularly get hurt and even die. There are several spots where a bad foothold could result in a short fall and then a long cascading tumble. After about 45 minutes I popped out at the saddle to a herd of sheep, heavy sideways rain and high winds (~40 mph gusts). Visibility was about 50 feet (16 m) and I ended up following a sheep path to the summit. The GPS app I had made a world of difference keeping me headed towards the summit. I found the iconic cross around 6:45 am, took picture and headed down. I considered returning via Shea's but the weather was just too bad. On the way down I found the actual trail and followed it back to the ladder and descended. Descent was much more treacherous and being alone I was very careful. Overall I made it up and down in around 4:15 hours which included putting on and off jackets and rain gear.

Once back to the yard I was able to see several memorials to people who had lost their lives. There is also a nice monument to Gerard McDonnell who was the first Irishmen to summit K2, but lost his life on descent helping other distressed climbers (see The Summit documentary). I did run into three very nice french hikers that had stayed at the yard the night before and we were able to split the taxi fair back to Killarney, nice.

Very nice place and a little bit challenging to pick the right way, but definitely worth the visit!

hiking
9 months ago

Lovely walk close to where I stayed at Croan Cottages. I would love to do this walk daily if I lived near by.

My wife and I went to Ireland just for this trail. We were able to complete it in 7 days, staying at B&Bs each night along the way. We took the path from South to North, however, starting our trek in Clonegal and ending at Marlay Park in Dublin. I am glad we took this direction, as it made the trail get more interesting the farther we got in. The southern section of the trail is mostly farm land with trails through pine woods. There are quite a few stretches where we were walking on roads with cars periodically whizzing past us. In my opinion, this was the best way to experience a new country; walking through it. The countryside is gorgeous, as are the wooded areas. We did not see too many other walkers until we got near Glendalough, so that was nice as well. I do think I assumed it was going to be easier than it was. Some of the uphill stretches are much more steep than some of the mountain hikes near Los Angeles. Also, we carried all of our items in our packs, and if I could do it over again, I would have brought less clothing. I would have brought maybe 2 outfits of athletic materials that I could wash in the sink and dry overnight. My pack was about 30lb, and after 12-13 miles each day, it got pretty cumbersome.

very nice peaceful walk.

A great place to run off-road if training for an endurance event with dodgy knees! Can be prone to flooding after heavy rain but when dry it's an amazing trail

hiking
Monday, February 13, 2017

My favorite hiking partner (my wife) and I hiked to the highest point in Ireland in June of 2009 on a clear blue sunny day. The mountain is quite impressive as you approach it, and it appears to be very steep. We hiked up between the two lakes below it and ascended the infamous Devils Ladder. This is a steep chute filled with talus and boulders the whole way. You have to pick your way through as there is no real trail in this section. It took us almost an hour to go up this short pitch. Kinda sketchy in a few places. Once at the top of the ladder, it is wide open to the top. We arrived on top after about 2 1/2 hours of hiking. It is pretty steep, but you are not fighting high elevation here. The views are endless up there. You can see both the Kenmare and the Dingle Bays on the ocean, and countless lakes all over the Killarney area. There is a huge cross on top with a couple of memorials for some hikers. We had the place to ourselves too ,which made it nice. After about a half hour or more on top we started down. When we got back to the top of the ladder, we decided to take a different route down from there. So we kept hiking on the ridge trail from there, and that goes back down to the main trail avoiding the ladder. Really nice along this ridge top. It was steep going down the switches here, but beat going down the boulders. We got back to the main trail and then it was just back to the car from there. Beautiful hike on a gorgeous day. If ever there, it's a great way to spend a day. We rolled into the corner pub on our way back to our B&B for a few celebratory pints. Great way to end the day!!! Would do it again for sure.

The first part of this hike is pretty easy, walking through the country side and in between the beautiful lakes. The devil's ladder portion, however, is the toughest hike I've done! The views on both portions are breathtaking I would highly recommend it.

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