8 beautiful walking trails and parks to enjoy locally in the sunshine
By Aura McMenamin
With temperatures soaring lately, you'd be silly to head home straight after work, and if you live in South County Dublin and beyond, there are some amazing local outdoor trails you can follow to keep active in the evening.
We rounded up eight of our favourite and easily-accessible spots.
For anyone unfamiliar with a weir, it’s a low-level dam, usually powered by a mill, and used to regulate the flow of water and prevent flooding.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that you can find a weir in Firhouse near the Old Mill pub. If you begin the trail in Old Bawn, you can walk along the River Dodder, pass through Firhouse and stop right next to Knocklyon.
The Firhouse Weir resembles a mini-waterfall and is the perfect local spot to relax in after work.
If you want to take a walk along the River Dodder from a different direction, there’s the very easy going route from Bushy Park to the Dropping Well in Terenure.
This 3.5 m walk takes you through weeping willows, canals and bridges that dot the river. This leisurely trail will take you down to Dartry and you can even go to Clonskeagh if you decide to continue further.
The River Dodder is the gift that keeps on giving. The Bohernabreena Waterworks are a stunning place to visit if you’re getting off work a little bit earlier. The route officially starts at Sean Walsh Memorial Park. To get to the Waterworks, walk up to Marlfield through the Whitestown Way. Continue off Kiltipper Road towards the nursing home, Kiltipper Woods Care Center. If you go through Kiltipper Park in Dodder Valley, you’ll get a stunning view of the surrounding hills.
The route officially starts at Sean Walsh Memorial Park. To get to the Waterworks, walk up to Marlfield through Whitestown Way.
Continue off Kiltipper Road towards the nursing home, Kiltipper Woods Care Center. If you go through Kiltipper Park in Dodder Valley, you’ll get a stunning view of the surrounding hills.
The trail leaves Kiltipper Park near Fort Bridge and crosses Bohernabreena Road. This walk is part of the Dublin Mountains Way, a long-distance trail of 43 km that connect Tallaght to Shankhill.
It enters the territory of Bohernabreena Waterworks and goes along river Dodder into Glenasmole Valley. Eventually, you’ll come across two reservoirs – the Bohernabreena Waterworks. The views are stunning and well worth the 6km walk, but do be aware that the gates to the Waterworks close at sunset.
Massey Woods Walk Trail:
The Massey Woods Walk is familiar to anyone who has travelled to the Hellfire Club. This walk begins at Marlay Park and goes back via Cruagh and Tibradden.
If you want to skip the Hellfire, the short forest trail is still as lovely. To begin, exit Marlay Park through College Road and continue down Tibradden Road. The woods entrance is about 50m before the Hellfire Club Car park on the opposite side of the road.
There’s the Riverside Trail which is lined by white markers. This trail is 6km and will take you two hours. The Nature Trail is a short 1.5km, will take you 45 minutes, and has orange markers.
Inchicore to Lucan: Grand Canal Way
For West Dubliners, there’s the Grand Canal Way. This waterway stretches from Grand Canal Dock in Ringsend all the way to Shannon Harbour, 137 km away on Ireland’s longest river. For your sake, we recommend doing the Inchicore to Lucan walk.
The trail is punctuated by canal locks dating back to the 18th and 19th century and there’s a few restored lock-keepers’ cottages too.
The 8.5 km trail features a leafy greenway from the third lock at Inchicore and 12th lock at Lucan, and has a path for both cyclists and walkers.
Corkagh Park Fairy Trail:
Corkagh Park is a familiar favourite for Clondalkin residents. The park features a Fairy Wood, which is perfect for children.
The forest trail features quirky adornments on its trees like fairy doors and hand-painted signs for the different trees that inhabit Corkagh Park and other features.
For nature lovers, you’ll be pleased to find that guarding the entrance to the forest is a giant redwood, or sequoia tree that’s native to California, but has a few species here in Ireland.
Tymon Park Yellow Slí
The vast and gorgeous Tymon Park covers an area between Tallaght and Templelogue, with the M50 motorway cutting through.
The yellow Slí route is 2.5km on the Tallaght side of the park which starts at the Tymon North Road entrance.
Slí na Sláinte is an initiative developed by the Irish Heart Foundation to get Irish people out and walking. You can recognise a Slí walk by its distinctive bright yellow signs that mark each kilometre.
The trail in Tymon Park follows a path along the historic Tymon Lane and around the park. There is also an alternative unmarked Blue Slí (5km) that spans both sides of the park.
Window of opportunity above Tymon Park + Heron & fountain + more cygnets about to hatch-park has at least 30 swans! pic.twitter.com/OlVY3uJ6P1
— Cathal Joseph Quinn (@cathaljquinn) May 22, 2016
Lead Mines Way
If you prefer a more mountainous terrain with stunning views then you might want to consider the Lead Mines Way in Carrickgollan.
This trail is a bit further out than the rest on this list. However, it’s minutes off the M50 in Kilternan and is based just off the Wicklow Mountains. There’s no need for a map as the 2.5 km trail is well-marked throughout.
You can go to the top of the car park and head towards the summit of Carrickgollogan where the real payoff is the views of the Wicklow Mountains. However, you can’t actually go to the top on the way-marked trail.
If you continue on the trail you’ll find the BallyCorus chimney.
Orthanc tower in Isengard. Keeping an eye out for Saruman. . . . #lordoftherings #lotr #orthanc #isengard #saruman #ireland #ireland #discoverireland #irelandisbeautiful #dublin #leadmines #roundtower #oldasfuck #cloudstagram #skyline #followthepath #sundayfunday #sundays #hiking #hikingadventures #photography #colour