First part of 38km Dublin mountain trail opens

Sat, Jun 20, 2009, 01:00

THE FIRST section of a 38-km walking trail across the Dublin mountains has been opened. The route opened yesterday links Tibradden, Kilmashogue and Cruagh forests and marks the initial stage of a long-distance trail that will eventually stretch from Shankill in the east to Tallaght in the west of the county.

Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív opened the first section of the Dublin Mountains Way and launched a new volunteer ranger service to help users of the hills.

Speaking at an event in Tibradden woods, Mr Ó Cuív said long-distance walking routes had the potential to attract more visitors to Ireland, in turn developing sustainable local jobs. Despite the recession, Fáilte Ireland’s figures showed that walking tourism was resilient, with dramatic increases in visitors over the past five years.

The new route has been developed by the Dublin Mountains Partnership, a partnership between local authorities in Dublin, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and recreational users in the Dublin Mountains Initiative.

So far, 12 people are training for the volunteer ranger scheme and have committed to work two to four days a month. The volunteers’ duties include patrolling, encouraging users to take home litter and helping out with events.

The first stage of the trail is on forestry land owned by Coillte. The exact route of the rest of the trail, which may have to cross privately-owned land, has not yet been finalised. More information is available on dublinmountains.ie and coillteoutdoors.ie