Welcome to Cruagh Wood – a super spot to get access to the open hills. A few minutes out of your car, and suddenly you’re in a Bronte novel. Sure where else would ye get it?
With drainage like this you’ll get away without your boots. Unless you want to press on a little further at the top or go for a detour.
Sheet 50 OSI. Essential if you’re going off trail.
3.5km – doable in an hour. Don’t forget to factor in selfie time.
3/5… hilly but short. S’grand.
Cruagh Wood is on Cruagh Road, very near Zipit at Tibradden (which by the way is awesome and deserves its own article soon). I actually went up through Glencullen on a bit of a drive, but if you’re coming from town you can head up the Edmonstown Road from Ballyboden, under the M50, past the Merry Ploughboy, up and up until the road takes a sharp turn to the left and you take the smaller turn to the right.
Car park’s grand, closes at 4pm though. Obviously nobody’s told them about the grand stretch in the evening.
We are going to follow the White Mountain Access trail for a bit, take a detour off it and then re-join it on the way back. That way we’ll make a loop out of an otherwise straight path.
The path is a good solid path. Doesn’t need amazing drainage but it’s doing a fine job.
We pretty quickly catch up with the Dublin Mountain Way. We’re going to be following that too for a while. It’s one of the few positive things to come out of the 2007-2011 Government. Remember them?
We’re now going to leave the White trail and the DMW and take a short cut up to the right.
You should now be starting to appreciate the quality of this path. It’s solid without being tarmacked up like a mad yoke – I kept looking around for signs telling me it was for mountain bikers, but didn’t see any.
When it forks you want to go left; the awesome path ends pretty quickly if you go right.
The drainage! It’s unreal!
You eventually pop out of the woods and suddenly you’re on a kind of a sky road. Don’t ask me to define a sky road. I just know one when I’m on it.
The view is pretty awesome. Dublin really is a pretty flat city.
The path ends up following the outside of the woods. It rounds a corner and suddenly you can see the open hills. If you’ve got your boots and a map and all the right gear, you could be off on a serious hike. This – this – is why they build mountain access routes.
We’re taking it fairly easy though so look out for the start of the boardwalk. It drops down the hill to the left.
Boardwalk is amazing. It allows you to get right over wet ground without disturbing it or getting your feet wet. We’re a bit beyond seeing frog spawn this year but you never know – you might see a frog.
It’s a left turn at the bottom when the boardwalk ends. If you want, there’s a bench facing directly into trees... if that’s what you’re in to.
You’re back on the DMW and it’s a pleasant stroll back to your car.
Hit up the Merry Ploughboy. I recommend the chicken wings!