Knocknacloghoge (Lough Dan)

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Duration: About 3 hours
A fairly easy walk in great scenery between Lough Tay and Lough Dan. Shame the name of the hill is such a mouthful ! The area around Lough Dan really is one of my favourites – since there are no roads the area is completely car free and has a great feeling of quietness. Knocknacloghoge itself also seems to be a little off the beaten path so its much quieter than other hills around Lough Tay.

Lough Dan from summit
Meandering river …


  • The start of the walk is at the Pier Gates, entrance to Luggala Lodge. Car parking is easiest further along the road (towards Roundwood) where there is a layby on the right. Next to the Pier Gates themselves is a pedestrian kissing gate that leads onto a tarmac road leading downhill.
    Pier Gates, pedestrian gate is to the left.

  • Follow the tarmac road downhill, then turn left at the white cottage (the estate gatehouse) – there is even an old sign on the cottage pointing towards Lough Dan …
  • Follow the road past a farm and you will cross two bridges. The road ends after the second bridge and there is a gate on the right that leads up to Knocknacloghoge itself. Cross the gate and follow the path up hill to a second gate. Keep going through this gate. IMG_2817
    Second bridge. Gate leading to hill is across the bridge and to the left
  • On the right a little way on (running across the hill following the line of the bracken) is an old drove road, now a grassy path. Follow the road as it heads up around the side of the hill.
    Drove road
  • The summit of the hill will come into sight on the left. The road itself continues around the hill without going to the top, so follow the path on the left that heads up hill from the drove road. Take this path towards the summit. This path eventually peters out, but the hillside is criss-crossed with small paths and any of these can now be taken to reach the top.
    Summit cairn
  • To descend, begin by following the path that leads south from the summit. Bear to the left and keep heading towards the head of Lough Dan (there are cliffs to the right). There are two options for descending. If its late summer and the bracken is thriving (it can be 4 or 5 feet high), then follow the line of the bracken left back towards to the drove road and retrace your steps back to the start of the walk. If the bracken is passable, then a nice alternative is to descend towards the cottage at the head of Lough Dan and return left along the old road.
    Cottage at head of Lough Dan
  • For a much longer walk, its also possible to descend to the south-west towards the Inchavore River and either walk back to Lough Dan along the river, or cross the river at the Copse and climb Kanturk and Scarr. I wouldn’t recommend either of these options though – the descent from the hill is over boggy, lumpy ground, and the path back along the river is similarly unpleasant (with the addition of deep bracken to add to the “fun”). If its been raining the river will also almost certainly be impossible to cross without getting wet.

69 Responses to “Knocknacloghoge (Lough Dan)”

  1. Veronika Says:

    Hello is ti possible walking down to Guiness lake ? Or is it private property and no tresspasing? Or someone make excursions there ?

  2. John Says:


    Lough Tay is private property with no access to the public. Lough Dan is also private, but the public are allowed access the lake.

    Just don’t bring any dogs!

  3. Mul Says:

    Brilliant site. Instructions, pics and maps are so easy to follow and give a good idea of what is doable depending on your fitness level.
    I did the Lough Dan walk on the weekend…beautiful

  4. Ric Says:

    Walked this again recently. Beautiful in the summer, but the route descending SSE from the peak (Knocknacloghoge) has no clear path and is blanketed with gorse/ferns. Best route down towards the cottage seems slightly more easterly than shown on the map (when you encounter gorse, head east until you find a way through).

    Similarly, once you reach the end of the old drove road on the way up, ascending Knocknacloghoge from the east (where the given map route cuts sharply south towards the peak), there’s no clear path and involves a bit of a scramble through the heather.

  5. 5 Best Wicklow walks with the kids  | Littlewoods Ireland Blog Says:

    […] This is a fairly easy walk which may come as a surprise given the extremely complicated name! This walk sits between Lough Tay and Lough Dan and there are no roads so the area is completely car free and is extremely calm and peaceful.  More information on the route, reviews and what you can expect from the walk can be found here.  […]

  6. Noreen Ballesty Says:

    Absolutely fab walk xxxx first time to do it today xxxxx. I ll be back xxx ♥️Want to live in the little cottages too xxxx ♥️

  7. Wandern in Irland: Knocknacloghoge (Lough Dan) – Einmal Ausland, immer Ausland Says:

    […] von 534m und ich muss zugeben, dass ich keine Ahnung habe wie man den Namen vernünftig ausspricht. Hier gibt es eine genaue Beschreibung des […]

  8. Lough Dan - Walk to the lake side / Randonnée côté lac - Four Acorns / Quatre graines de chêne Says:

    […] walk to Lough Dan starts at the Pier Gates; use the kissing gate on the left to enter the Luggala Estate. From then […]

  9. Hazel Says:

    Really? No dogs? is there nowhere in Ireland to walk where dogs are welcome?

  10. Family hike to Luggala, Co Wicklow - Four Acorns / Quatre graines de chêne Says:

    […] The walk to Lough Dan and Luggala starts at the Pier Gates; use the kissing gate on the left to enter the Luggala Estate. From then on, you are on private grounds. No cars or dogs are allowed on the estate. […]

  11. 8 favourite Wicklow hikes - Four Acorns / Quatre graines de chêne Says:

    […] The walk to Lough Dan starts at the Pier Gates on the R759 road to Sally Gap; use the kissing gate on the left to enter the Luggala Estate. From then on, Lough Dan is clearly signposted. […]

  12. DEIRDRE Uí Ghoibín Says:

    Pier Gate is now closed to the Public. Warden/ keeper informed us that as result of Covid 19 access to Lough Dan via Pier Gate is on private property & is closed to the public

  13. P Donn Says:

    Is there any indication as to when the walk will be back open as I see a previous comment stating that the gates are closed due to Covid-19

  14. Fergus Hannigan Says:

    “Shame the name of the hill is such a mouthful!”
    If you have trouble with the local names – even in their Anglisized forms – perhaps you will miss out on much of the enjoyment of these wild places.
    Knock is simply hill and Cloghoge is stepping stones. Hardly a mouthful.
    Now if it was Popōcatepētl you might have grounds for complaining.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Luggala Estate is Currently Closed.
    We are currently undertaking work to eradicate bracken on Luggala Estate. Bracken is an invasive species which is a breeding ground for ticks which are dangerous to animals and humans.

    While this work is ongoing Luggala Estate remains closed to guests.

    We look forward to reopening the Estate to guests in mid-August.

    Thank you for your co-operation.

    Privacy Policy

  16. Hiking of Ireland Says:

    Is this trail back open? I can’t wait to be able to hike in my favourite spot. Got tired of being locked-down in the big smoke.

  17. Fatma Says:

    Is it open for public?

  18. James McQuade Says:

    Yeah, does anybody know if the trail is back open? Apparently it was closed during lockdown. Don’t suppose anyone has driven by and checked?

  19. Sean Young Says:

    I walked yesterday and just had to leave name and phone number with a gate keeper.

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