Duration: About 3.5 hours.
Deservedly one of the most popular walks in Wicklow. This is a high level walk along the Spinc ridge overlooking Glendalough, with panoramic views over Glendalough and the surrounding hills, returning past the Glenealo River as it cascades via a series of waterfalls into the Upper Lough. There is a well marked path for the entire walk and, apart from the fairly strenuous climb up to the Spinc ridge at the start, the walk is reasonably level and easy going.
View of the Spinc from west end of Upper Lough
- Starting from the car park at the Upper Lough in Glendalough, take the path southwards to the base of the Poullanass Waterfall. Cross the bridge and follow the path uphill that runs beside the waterfall.
- At the top of the waterfall, a number of paths head off in different directions. Take the right-hand path, continuing uphill.
- After the first bend, there is a stile on the right which is easy identified by the sign warning about the need for appropriate outdoor footwear etc. Cross the stile and head steeply uphill. This is by far the most strenuous part of the whole walk as the path quickly gains height. On reaching the top of the path, the reward is a spectacular view over Glendalough and the surrounding hills.
- The Spinc is a ridge extending to the west parallel to the Upper Lough. Follow the clearly visible boardwalk path along this ridge. The path is level and the easy walk along the ridge allows time to enjoy the views.
- At the west end of the Spinc, stay on the path as it descends in a zig-zag towards the Glenealo River.
- The path now turns east and descends down beside a series of waterfalls to an old miners village at the west end of the lough. The views down the lough are exceptional on a clear day.
- After the miners village, the path continues along the north side of the lough back to the car park.
The google map for Glendalough lacks detail just now, so the map below is currently a better bet.