Know Before You Go: This hike is in Wicklow Mountains National Park. We only budgeted a couple hours for this hike, and wished we had taken more time. Some of the rocks can be dangerous, so only climb them If you are an experienced hiker. Length: Trails range in length from 1.6 km to 11 km. Time: There are choices ranging from 30 minutes to 4 hours. We did the Miners’ Road Walk around Upper Lake for 5 km which took us a little over an hour. Terrain: Steep. Loose dirt, mulch, and grass. Can be slippery when muddy. Difficulty: Moderate to difficult - the hills are quite steep. Dog-friendly: Yes. Dogs must be leashed. Kid-friendly: Yes.
Ireland’s Wicklow Mountains reminded me of the Appalachians or the Black Hills in the U.S. - not particularly rugged or towering like the Rockies or the Sierras - but just as grand and beautiful. Tree-covered mountains with clear lakes, often punctuated by rock work that’s several hundred years old. We were short on time so chose the Miners’ Road Walk around Upper Lake. This is a beautiful lake walk under conifer and deciduous tree cover with views of the clear, gorgeous lake. Wildflowers frame the trail, and ivy and ferns cover the hillsides. This was an easy, flat hike on the first day we flew in to Ireland, so good for these jet-lagged legs. The trail leads to the ruins of an old miners’ village.