Forrest Mallard - May 10, 2021

Wicklow Way
Dublin to Carlow, Ireland
Start: Marlay Park, Dublin
End: Clonegal, Carlow
Distance: 80 miles (129km)
Time: 8-10 days
Difficulty: Strenuous
Surface: Forest Trails, Narrow Country Lanes, Moorland


Wicklow Way Map

Opened in 1980 and Ireland’s first waymarked trail, the Wicklow Way combines accessibility with wilderness. It begins in the suburbs of Dublin (thus guaranteeing its status as one of the country’s most popular walks) and in no time brings you to the east-west ridges and valleys of the Wicklow Mountains, the largest granite surface field in Ireland, before eventually leading you into their tranquil foothills as you near the trait’s end at the village of Clonegal in CountyCarlow.

Wicklow Way 02

Now the most westerly section of the E8 footpath that spans most of Europe, the Wicklow Way takes you by mountain lakes, past the extensive remains of monastic communities in the Glendalough valley, and through conifer-covered hillsides. Shortly after leaving Dublin, you are in a world of granite hills, heather-clad meadows, and streams that are the color of peat. Just don’t be lulled into thinking the trail is easy. You need to be fit for this one. There are days spent on isolated stretches where a six- or seven-hour hike of 12 miles (19 km) is the only way to get to your next set of cotton sheets, and much of the wayinvolves long and demanding ascents, despite the highest elevation being a reasonable 2,067 feet (630 m). Climbing out of the Glenmalure valley provides scenery that will take your breath away, and the Ow valley below Lugnaquilla (3,035 feet/925 m) is a highlight worthy of the world’s best hikes. Be sure to linger in the seventeenth-century village of Shillelagh, and at Tinahely’s historic market building.

Wicklow Way 01

If you have the reserves for it, a nice side spur is the 12-mile (19-km) return walk to Powerscourt Estate, an eighteenth-centuryPalladian mansion with gardens that are considered to be the finest in Ireland.


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Hi! I'm Forrest Mallard

In 2005, I moved to Quito, Ecuador with $35 in my pocket and a small handful of online clients. Fifteen years and five continents later, there were moments of absolute glamour, as well as a number of brutal rough patches. But I always felt that a horrible day of travel is infinitely more preferable than a great day at the office. Oh the stories I could tell, and I will try to do that here in Tramposaurus Treks. You'll have access to the good times, the horrifying times, and a few well-deserved moments of travel glamour.

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