Carrickgollogan is one of my favourite short hikes in the Dublin Mountains. It’s a great place to get some fresh air and exercise and leave the worries of the ongoing pandemic behind for a while.
The road to the Carrickgollogan parking is along a very narrow country-road, which I am sure was definitely not built for 2 cars going in either direction, so some clever maneuvering of vehicles is needed if you meet a car trying to come past. Tricky driving on the country-road aside, once you arrive at the car park you will find limited parking available, but with some planning ahead trying to avoid the busiest times you will get sorted. I usually arrive late afternoon and always have managed to find parking.
Once you have parked, you will find up to 8km of forest trails to choose from, but the most popular trail is the Lead Mines Way, which is a 2.3km looped trail from runs from the car park. Trotting along this trail should take about 40 minutes, perfect for a stretch of the legs.
Along the walk, you will come across the famous viewing rock, which a short but steep walk will take you to the summit, 278m above sea level. From the summit you can take in the beautiful views of the sea, surrounding villages and forests. It’s normally quite breezy at the top so find a spot to sit and hang on to your hat! If you are walking in a very gusty day walk carefully up to the summit.
Another attraction to see is the lead mine chimney to the north of the forest. The chimney was used in the early 19th century for lead mining and smelting on the site, and closed in the 1920.