Cartographers call it Carrickgollogan; its friends call it Kathy Gallagher.
Whatever it's called, the Lead Mines Way is a few minutes off the M50 and a whole lot of fun. Situated just off the Wicklow Mountains, it has tremendous views from its super-accessible summit.
It's short, it's surprisingly rewarding, and it’s well marked with information boards spread throughout.
I did it in my runners but I’m messy. There’ll be a little muck.
No need for a map it’s fully way marked (Sheet 50 on the OSI if you must!).
Only if it’s raining, which doesn't look likely. Do you need me to tell you this?
The loop is about 2.5km but I recommend adding a little detour or two.
1/5 Easy Peasy (particularly if you skip the summit).
Fancy some food?
Why not drop in to the Golden Ball in Kilternan. If you’re taking the M50 you’ll be passing it anyway.
There is a car park on Murphy’s Lane that closes at 4pm for most of the year. This is where the walk starts.
The Lead Mines Way is marked with Orange/Brown markers. There are a few other trails passing through this neck of the woods, so have a quick look at the map on the noticeboard in the car park.
It’s a loop so you can go two ways around it. I went right at the top of the car park and headed towards the summit of Carrickgollogan. There are some great views of the Wicklow Mountains from here – although you can rest assured, city folk, you are still in Dublin.
The waymarked trail doesn’t actually go to the top so it’s worth taking a little detour. It’s a steep climb but it’s very short and the view is absolutely worth it.
Back on the trail and the Leadmines Way brings you back to the opposite side of the woods where you will find the famous Ballycorus Chimney.
Be careful not to end up back at the car park. There’s another detour, although this one is marked on the map.
The chimney was built in the 19th century to dispel the poisonous fumes from the lead works at the bottom of the hill. You can still see the remnants of the brick flue that used to connect to it. In fact the flue is still completely intact in places further down the hill on Mine Hill lane. Worth checking out in the car on the way home.
From the chimney you can follow the Lead Mines way back to the car park or, if you’re like me and you never turn back ever, you can loop back by following the path along the outside of the woods and then turn up left back to the car park.
All in all a good walk, what with the points of historical interest and all them fancy things you done seen.
Main picture: Kevin Ball/Flickr.