In search of the heart-shaped lake…

Last weekend I went on a hike with Trinity Hiking society to the Wicklow mountains. We decided to do one of the hikes from my favourite Joss Lynam book.

The route starts at the carpark at Glenmacnass waterfall, with a river crossing and a gentle hike to begin. The weather was amazing!

View across the river we had just crossed

View across the river we had just crossed


The route then passes by the heart-shaped lake (Lough Ouler) which looks particularly heart-shaped just before the peak of Tonelagee!


Lough Ouler


It was cold day, so we got to see some icicles and a bit of snow.





I’ve been up Tonelagee many times before, but as I reached the summit it struck me that I’d never been there on a clear day- the view from the top is spectacular!

View across to Lugnaquilla

View across to Lugnaquilla

The view down to Glendalough and towards the sea

The view down towards Laragh

You can see Lugnaquilla (which was covered in snow) and Turlough Hill from up there, and you can even see the sea!

On the way down it’s just a straight line along the top of the “ridge” towards Laragh. The route eventually brings you into the town of Laragh, with views of Glendalough as you go.


The hike is gentle enough, but still enough to get you out of breath on the climb. It’s a long enough hike too: we started at 11am and finished at 4pm without many breaks. We were fortunate to be able to be dropped and collected from different points, but if you’re driving it would be easy enough to leave the car at Glenmacnass and return back that way. There’s another carpark south of Tonelagee just below Camaderry.
You would want to be fairly confident at navigation in order to make it to the top- there are some sheer cliffs and the visibility can decrease very rapidly.

But as you can see from the photos, it’s definitely worth it!




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