Take a Hike: Crone Woods and Maulin Mountain loop
A tough but incredibly worthwhile hike, with spectacular views of one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland.
The Garden of Ireland isn’t known for towering mountain peaks, but the views on this loop are truly breath-taking, no matter the weather (but especially on a clear sunny day).
Elevation gain: 442m
Terrain: Mostly on a forest path, with some open mountain (rocky/muddy) sections
Time to complete: 4 hours
Crone Woods car park is your starting point.
It’s only accessible by car, so if you’re using public transport, you’ll need to take the 44 bus to Enniskerry from Dublin City, or a Dart to Bray and, from there, get a lift or a taxi to the car park.
This hike is a classic Wicklow mountain route. You’ll take a forest path that meanders through the woods. As you climb, you’ll catch a glimpse of the view back toward the Great Sugarloaf mountain and the Irish Sea. The higher you climb, the more spectacular the view becomes.
The route you take upwards is also part of the Wicklow Way, which is a 129km national waymarked trail. So if you enjoy this route – I highly expect you will – there’s another 121km of it to enjoy!
About 2km into the climb, you’ll come to a particularly spectacular section of the trail.
Powerscourt Waterfall is Ireland’s highest waterfall, but from here it looks like a garden feature. This will give you an idea of how high you have climbed so far.
Towering over in the distance is Djouce mountain, a challenge for another day, but for now, this is an ideal spot for a water/selfie break.
From here, the trail gets steeper and rocky in places, so take your time.
After a short while, you’ll walk along a mountain path to a white, slightly Lord of the Rings-ish tree. Take a look to the left and you’ll be hypnotised by the valley falling beneath you.
This is where you leave the Wicklow Way, turning right - up towards the summit.
Once you pass a couple of false summits, you’ll have made it to the top of Maulin - 570m above sea level. From here, you get a 360-degree view of the Wicklow mountains and the eastern coastline. Take a moment to soak up the views and catch your breath.
Now, it’s time for the descent!
This is the trickiest part of the hike as it can be steep, so be sure to take your time.
You’ll eventually get to a wooden gate. This needs to be shut after use as it is used to keep wildlife safe and off the public footpaths. The descent towards the car park is every bit as magical as the climb. Every few hundred metres, there is a break in the trees, giving you a different perspective over Glencree.
If you go on the right day, you can pick up a post-hike treat from the coffee truck that is parked at the trailhead in the car park. Always practice Leave No Trace - If you brought it with you, take it back with you, including any organic stuff.
You can find an interactive map for this trail here.
HiiKER is an application, founded in Ireland that is helping people discover trails around the world safely. Download the app for free in the Appstore or Playstore.