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RECESSION BUSTER FAMILY WEEKEND HIKE

Why not take the family on a hiking adventure for the weekend?

Here on your doorstep, lies the first section of the Wicklow Way from Marlay Park to Knockree, a lovely 21km hike across the Dublin Mountains, with a fabulous new 5-star hostel at the other end. 

The Wicklow Way begins in Marlay Park, adjacent to Marlay House and the courtyard with interesting craft workshops and a pleasant coffee shop.  The trail wanders through the beautiful park and woodland of Marlay Park before passing beneath the M50 motorway to begin the walk's first ascent up to and through Kilmashogue forest

 

Following the forest road for approximately 700m, you then join a recently upgraded section of the Wicklow Way leading towards Fairy Castle and Tibradden Mountains.  Here you cross the open mountain covered in heather and bilberry with views back over the city, and across to Three Rock (and the communication masts), Two Rock and Fairy Castle (536m) mountains.  The trail then descends straight down along the edge of the pine forest to reach the Glencullen road at Ballybrack after 9km. 

 

Turn eastwards and walk along the road, and then turn south (if you keep heading straight you will reach the world famous pub - Johnny Fox's) to cross the Glencullen River.  The route then passes through the coniferous forest of Glencullen and up towards Prince William's Seat and the open mountain again.  Leaving Glencullen you cross the county border into Wicklow and enter Curtlestown Wood.  Here the trail was upgraded by Coillte a number of years ago and is a pleasure to walk.  Then you follow the zigzag descent along the stoney trail to the Enniskerry Road at about 17km, which is directly north of Knockree Hill.  Follow the yellow walking man posts along the road and in through the forest to reach the recently renovated An Oige hostel at Knockree.

 

The hostel has 76 beds with some en-suite rooms, family rooms and even a deluxe double room dubbed the "Honeymoon Suite"!  There is also a self-catering kitchen and dining room, a comfy TV room and a "chill out" area.  The hostel has fantastic views of the Glencree Mountains and valleys.  Please book your accommodation in advance by contacting Knockree Youth Hostel (01-2767981 or email: hostel@knockreehostel.com).  Rates from May to September range from €21.50 per adult or €19.50 per child in a 6 bed dorm to €104 for a four bed en-suite room.  The double deluxe room costs €70 per room.  If you are not sufficiently tired out from the hike, the pleasant village of Enniskerry is 4km to the east.

After a wonderful night's sleep in the Glencree Valley head back to Dublin the following day along the same route.

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TOUR OF THE TORS

You don't have to go to the Mourne mountains or Dartmoor to enjoy the those wonderful geological feature called tors � rock out crops.  It is possible to visit several just a short walk from the Tiknock car park in the Dublin Mountains.

This route is a short hike of about two hours (but it  can be shortened ) will take in the tors on Three Rock and Two Rock. For those who fancy a bit of bouldering there are a number of routes described on these tors and they give really nice introduction to the sport and magnificent views over the city and county.

Follow the tarmac road from the car park up hill towards the masts on Three Rock Mountain stopping occasionally to look back and enjoy the view over the city. At the end of the tarred road we reach a cross roads, go straight through the cross roads. (Turning right at this point will bring you up to the cairn known as Fairy Castle 536m). Shortly after going straight through the cross roads, veer right off the gravel road towards your first Tor. A path will lead you into and through the tor. Around the back you see the second tor to the east and across the road. At the second tor you may decide that you have had enough so retrace your steps to the car park.

For those with more energy, rejoin the forest road and head south to the end of the forest road. Here a small trail leads through the forest to the fence line. Turn right and follow the fence line "trail" uphill to reach the tors on Two Rock. Veer right here and follow the trail to join the path from the cross roads to Fairy Castle. Turn right and head downhill to the cross roads and follow the tarmac road back to the car park.

Length: Approximately 6km

Time: Approximately 2hrs -2hrs.30min depending on ability

Grade: Moderate/ strenuous in parts

Walking surface: Tarmac road, forest road, rough mountain track - Strong footwear recommended

Way marking: none.

Map: Tiknock Download Map - All Trails

 

 

Jump into Spring.....

With the longer, warmer days and more sunshine, it's time to get out and enjoy the woodlands on your doorstep.  The forest is waking up again after the long cold winter and there is a hive of activity out there.  Many of the deciduous trees are coming into leaf again.  Beautiful spring time flowers such as wood anemone, primroses, lesser celandine and dog violets can be found growing on the forest floor.  Hedgehogs are coming out of hibernation, badger cubs born in February and March are venturing above ground.  The nesting season for many birds is well underway. 

Massy's Estate is a lovely woodland which displays a wide variety of tree species and flowers this Spring.  There is a lovely trail of about 3km marked with yellow arrows leading you through the woodland.  Head out to the woods today and enjoy this beautiful time of year.  Click on the following link for a map of Massy's Estate.... Download Map - All Trails

Unfortunately the car park at Massy's is temporarily closed.  There is parking available in Cruagh Wood and Massy's Estate can be entered by the river at the bridge on the sharp bend in the road heading up to Killakee.  Follow the narrow trail along the river, over the stiles into the main area of Massy's Estate.

 

 

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