Scarr & Loch Dan

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (21 votes, average: 3.81 out of 5)

Duration: About 3 hours
A lovely walk up to Scarr mountain returning via Lough Dan. In addition to the great views, Lough Dan is entirely car-free (the only “road” along the Lough is a dirt track) and so feels remarkably peaceful.


  • Take the road from Oldbridge towards Lough Dan and park about 200m outside Oldbridge village. Take the small road uphill to the left that runs beside a wood. After about a kilometre the track passes a farm and continues to the open side of Scarr mountain. The walk to the summit is the straightforward.
  • From the summit of Scarr head north west along the path to Kanturk.
  • Descend towards the western end of Lough Dan to join the unpaved road that runs along beside the path. No cars are allowed on this road, so the whole area is remarkable for its peace and solitude.
  • Return along the road beside Lough Dan.

25 Responses to “Scarr & Loch Dan”

  1. Kim Seeley Says:

    I was wondering whether this walk takes you onto the estate as I know the Knocknacloghoge (Lough Dan) walk does and dogs aren’t allowed, which we only found out when we got there and saw the sign.

  2. admin Says:

    This walk stays to the south of Lough Dan so far as I know it doesn’t go onto the Guinness estate between Lough Tay and Lough Dan (I assume that’s the estate you mean ?). I noticed a couple of weeks back when I redid this walk that the start of the walk at Oldbridge has changed a bit as there are some new houses being built, but its still easy enough to find your way up onto the hill.

  3. Eoin Says:

    Hey, do you know what the walk from scarr south, to paddock hill/back onto wicklow way is like? Plan is to head up road at oldbridge, pass house, turn south at summit and down to laragh

  4. admin Says:

    Sorry, haven’t been that way before. There’s a clear path marked on the map from Scarr to Paddock Hill, and what looks like plenty of bog in between ;-) Do let me know how you get on.

  5. Robert Says:

    Did this walk at the weekend. Its a great round walk with great views to the sea and over the hills to turlough hill. The weather was fantastic too. And there is still some snow up there!

    You need to specify on the map where the path leads up from the start. The walk to the mountain itself past the farm and houses is not that straight forward and only for someone gave us directions we probably would have wandered on to private land. There are no signs to mark the way.

  6. admin Says:

    Agreed. I did the walk again myself about a month ago and noticed that the start has changed quite a lot due to what looks like ground work for new houses (it was much simpler before). I need to go back and figure out some clear directions for the start at Oldbridge, but haven’t had a chance just yet.

  7. Eoin Says:

    Got that walk done, only back online now. got lost on the up alright, we started to take the right near the top of the path as ahead looked like dead end. A biker pointed us in right direction. Nice walk though, weather was great and not much bog

  8. Julie Says:

    Just did Scar from Oldbridge again today. Although a lot of new houses have been built there lately, the route up to Scar is still accessible with some care and respect for the locals. Just keep following the road up and don’t take any right hand turns. The road will lead you to the left of the forest, exactly as described in ‘Best Irish Walks’ by Joss Lynam. Keep going until you get to a sharp left turn in the road. Don’t take this, but keep going straight on through the gate onto a grassy road with low walls on either side. This will bring you to the foot of the mountain.

  9. Emma Says:

    Wow, what a find this walk is. Did it yesterday on St. Patrick’s Day with 6 friends and we were spoilt as there were so few people up on the mountain. I heard there were half hour queues to get into the car park down at Glendalough.
    Anyway after reading all the comments here I was so confused as to which turns to definitely take or definitely avoid. Even met some local hikers on their way down the lane way and after they described us what to do on approach to the last house we still went wrong! Still not sure which is the way we were supposed to go. But once up on the mountain it was all worth it. Stunning views all round and the feet weren’t too weary afterwards. Took us 3.5 hours with numerous diversions and a few breaks. We weren’t going too fast either.

  10. Colm Says:

    Our walking club hope to do this walk next weekend – I did a ‘recce’ this week and ‘Julies’ tips on getting to the foot of the mountain are ‘spot on’. Does Kanturk (Kanturch) have a top? I couldn’t really one. Lovely walk. It took me just under 3 hours, with no breaks.

  11. Colm Says:

    Successfully completed walk with our walking club – no problems and a perfect days walking. Everyone raved about the walk – its spectacular scenery, solitude and peace – especially in comparison to the madness down in the Glendalough carparks on a Bank Holiday. Thanks again for telling us about the walk.

  12. Peter Says:

  13. gj Says:

    Went on this route yesterday, walked up the first part of the route and turned right at the black gate – this turned out to be wrong and ended up trawling through mucky forrest paths. The google map image seems to be outdated (judging by forrest anyway) and we went around in a bit of a loop and ended up cutting our walk short. Was decent walk still and saw some lake views but after checking the map again, we should not have gone up the black gate path it seems! Watch out if youre intending on walking the above route!

  14. Lizzie Murray Says:

    I did the walk down to Lough Dan and was looking to attempt Luggala and wondered if I start the ascent to Luggala from down near the Game preserve on the way to Lough Dan after crossing the 2 little wooden bridges? Just want to make sure I have my route planned out to perfection as i am probably attempting this on my own.. Dont want to leave anything to chance :)

  15. Jon and Kerry Says:

    Just did the walk, no signage for Oldbridge, but worked it out ok. Walked up past the forest on right, some log cabins, then a farm warehouse with two wary sheepdogs. Went up the wrong track but doubled back ok. Went up a mossy walled track to a rusty gate. Through that into open land, getting steeper, some friendly black cattle. Stopped for mackerel sarnies, and took in the fabulous view, sat on old fallen logs. Then lost the track arrgghh!! Had to stomp up through very boggy land to the summit but another fantastic view. Picked up track again as we swung round Scarr, heading down. But very, very boggy. Half way down lost track again and headed through bog…..again!! Found track all the way down then over high wooden stile, good view of Lough Dan and Viking log house. Followed track parallel to lough, then onto road and back to car, phew tired and muddy.

  16. Tom Says:

    How far is the walk? I did it this afternoon and it was beautiful – trying to work out how many km I covered and so just how much steak I can eat tonight :)

  17. Sara Says:

    Hi All,

    I live on this walking route with my family.
    Our lovely little puppy that myself and my little sisters adore went walkabouts this morning with some walkers.
    We have searched for her all day, but no joy.
    She was seen by a neighbor following a group up the lane, but did not go to them when called.
    If anybody has seen our lovely puppy Binky or has her and is minding her, could they please call my mum, Bibi on 085 2261864 or myself on 086 3089486.

    Binky is white with light brown spots, 3 big ones on her back and several smaller ones, both ears are brown coming down over her eyes, but with white in between. She has a little underbite so has a little guilty look on her face. We love her dearly and are distraught at her disappearance.

    She hasn’t got a collar on, and isn’t chipped, so we are putting all our hope in finding her through the internet and posters in the area.



  18. josh john nicola and aaron Says:

    Done this walk today with or 2 boys 17.and 9. looks like the locals did their usual trick and have put up a grate to confuse people.

    So we ended up on the wrong track straight away, just as well we had a map with us that day. We eventually found the track to Scarr and we reached the summit after 2.5 hrs.

    The day was quite cold and windy with a sharp cold breeze you definitely needed your hat and gloves.

    Lovely views and as we ploughed on the kids were delighted to see a family of deers.

    Great day will be back.

  19. Marty Gruff Says:

    Did this walk today, in reverse, and it was delightful. It was about 9.6km on ‘MapMyRun’ app so it is probably about 9kms I’d guess. Paths are fairly clear especially if you look ahead so as not to drift off main path, but the gales and slippery mud made it quite hard work. Fabulous views and an all round superb walk.

  20. Brian Says:

    Did this today- easy enough to find the start, There is a sign at the top of the road-but after you get into the open area, there’s not much of a trail marked until you get to the top of Scarr. It is pretty steep going up and a bit boggy if you go the wrong way, but not for too long and the view is really nice. After you summit the path is clear as day- I followed the route above to go to Kanturk- and lost the trail, but pushed on towards the lake. The map route follows a stream, which I tried to navigate- very boggy and muddy- no actual trail, unless I missed it (Google Maps said I was on the trail though). So I walked down the heather slope to the path by Lough Dan. It’s a nice walk, I just wouldn’t undertake it if it’d been raining a lot recently. Thanks

  21. Cat Says:

    Just wondering are dogs absolutely not allowed on this walk or are they allowed on leads?

  22. Victoria Says:

    A fantastic walk! We didn’t stop enjoying the wild scenery and the views for a single moment, despite the occasional wind and rain and hail. Just be ready to walk through bog, and to loose the trail a number of times. Among all the people met on Scarr, nobody followed anything resembling a trail! Otherwise our itinerary seems to have been pretty close to Brian’s one. Just one advice – after descending from Kanturk, be sure to follow the small path going along the lake rather than the main road – it is indeed picturesque.

  23. Richard McCullough Says:

    I’ve just done this walk and as far as I can see, I took the exact route mapped out above. I think I made a mistake near the start and didn’t turn right at the black and yellow barrier (because it didn’t mention turning right). As a result I lost the trail up. I struggled a little bit through some fairly marshy uphill areas towards the summit of Scarff. Not too bad though.

    I then followed the trail around the ridge over Kanturk. This area was the highlight. Easy going and mostly an obvious trail.

    However, on the way down towards Lough Dan I ended up absolutely up to my neck in ferns and climbing down very difficult terrain. Went on my hole a couple of times. My dignity was preserved as I was alone.

    When I managed to get back to the relative sanctuary of marsh land, it was almost impossible as every step was an absolute lottery in terms of whether my l eg would plunge a foot or more into a hole or find purchase on a mound of grass.

    Maybe I missed something but looking back I followed the exact line of the map on this page and couldn’t find another way down. It was very hairy.

    Being alone, I was listening to a podcast which had an item about adventuring. The woman being interviewed had rowed around the UK (nearly dying in the process) and trekked through jungles in Africa and South America. She was saying that type 1 fun is fun at the time and afterwards. Type 2 fun though not fun at the time is fun to look back at. Type 3 fun isn’t fun either way. Today was type 2. I’m glad to have got through this shitty terrain, but I won’t be trying this walk again without further research!

  24. Anonymous Says:

    Why has the walk changed in loch dan

  25. Jack Says:

    Did this walk with a group a few days ago.
    Lovely walk but, as others have pointed out, the descent from Kanturk as described is tough sledding.

    Instead of bearing for the west end of Lough Dan (down a steep, wet gully full of ferns), follow the obvious shoulder bearing towards the centre of Lough Dan.
    Where this hits the “road”, follow the “exit” sign towards the lake and follow the gorgeous lakeside path home.

    The start has also changed: from the small uphill road leading out of Oldbridge, follow the “Scarr mountain” sign which brings you northward along a paved road to where you follow a ridge directly up to Scarr (gates are secured with chain loops, but not locked).

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