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Shankill to Scalp

Small Hills, Big Views in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 7.332 miles
Duration: Half day

Overview :  What the hills to the east of the main Dublin/Wicklow range may lack in height, they more than make up for in terms of views and... more »

Tips:  There is limited on-street parking in Shankill and reaching the start of this trip is best done by public transport either by DART or ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Start - Shankill

The trail begins at the Dublin Mountains Way trailhead in front of Brady's pub in the main street. The initial section - as far as Rathmichael Wood - follows the route of the Dublin Mountains Way, marked by the traditional yellow walking man waymarker.

2. Rathmichael Cross

This small cross, found at the end of Rathmichael Lane, dates from the 12th century and is one of what are known as the Fassaroe Crosses, all of which are believed to have been the work of the same stonemason. The cross consists of a crucifixion scene in high relief on one side and false releif on the other. It is believed the cross may have... More

3. Entering Rathmichael Wood

Shortly after entering Rathmichael Wood the trail diverges from the Dublin Mountains Way, following the Rathmichael Walk, marked with green arrows.

4. Rathmichael Wood

Rathmichael Wood is a mixture of coniferous and broadleaf woodland and gorse covered scrub. The trail ascends a small grassy hill from which there are splendid views towards Bray Head. This area was the site of a former ringfort or rath, the remains of which can be discerned among a copse of trees close to the top.

5. To Carrickgollogan Wood

At this point the trail leaves the Rathmichael Walk and rejoins the Dublin Mountains Way to reach Carrickgollogan Wood.

6. To the Lead Mines

At this junction, shortly after entering Carrickgollogan Wood, the trail again leaves the Dublin Mountains Way continuing straight ahead to reach the lead mines chimney.

7. Lead Mines Chimney

The chimney formed part of the Ballycorus lead mining and smelting operation, which was active from the early 19th century up to the 1920s. Mining began in 1907 and soon a major smelting operation established itself at Ballycorus, located in the valley below the location of the chimney. The lead works processed not only lead and silver mined... More

8. To Barnaslingan

Approaching the exit to Carrickgollogan Wood, the trail again rejoins the Dublin Mountains Way, this time following the yellow waymarkers all the way to The Scalp.

9. Barnaslingan Wood

Once part of the Powerscourt Estate, planting in the woods around Barnaslingan has been going on since the 1900s. The oldest trees are the Scots Pine and oak found in the southern part of the woods. More recent plantings include Monterey pine, Douglas fir. beech and larch.

10. The Scalp

The trail emerges from Barnaslingan Wood at the eastern summit of The Scalp (238m). This narrow rocky gorge was created around 12,000 years ago close to the end of the last Ice Age. At this time, a great glacial lake formed near Enniskerry, enclosed by the mountains and the ice sheet. The pressure of the water in the lake acted on a weak spot in... More

11. Turning for home...

For the initial stage of the return journey, the trail joins the Scalp Lookout Trail, marked with red discs, to return to the entrance to Barnaslingan Wood. It then rejoins the Dublin Mountains Way to return to Carrickgollogan Wood.

12. Following the Lead Mines Way

Reaching Carrickgollogan Wood, the trail follows the Lead Mines Way, marked with orange discs. This diverges from the Dublin Mountains Way in order to take in the summit of Carrickgollogan.

13. Carrickgollogan Wood

Carrickgollogan Wood consists of around 85 hectares of mixed woodland as well as furze and heather. Forest plantations began in this area in the 1950s. Species planted include lodgepole pine, noble fir, Japanese larch, Scots pine, birch and beech.

14. Carrickgollogan Summit

The last stop on this trip is the summit of Carrickgollogan Hill, a 276m high outcrop of Cambrian quartzite. The view from the top is spectacular offering a 360 degree view over Killiney and Dalkey to the north and east, the Bray Group of mountains - consisting of Bray Head, The Little Sugar Loaf (or Giltspur mountain) and the Great Sugar Loaf -... More

15. The last stretch...

For the final leg back to the start, the trail follows the Dublin Mountains Way out of Carrickgollogan Wood, through Rathmichael Wood and back to Shankill.

16. End - Shankill

The trail finishes back on the main street in Shankill.