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West Wicklow Sugarloaf - Lobawn - Pinnacle Trail Running Guide

Updated: Sep 27

The west Wicklow Mountains are a beautiful area to explore. The mountains are ideal for hiking and trail running, but bring the proper equipment such as good hiking boots or trail runners. I use Salomon Speedcross trail runners. West Wicklow Sugerloaf - Lobawn - Pinnacle is an amazing 10.6km route through forest and mountains.

Starting off in a carpark just outside The Wicklow Escape Hotel you begin your run going through the forested trail. There's a slight incline on this road for the first Km so enjoy the easy pace and view for now.

Once you enter a small clearing you can go either direction but I'd recommend taking a right as you get a lot of the tough incline out of the way early.

Follow the road until you hit a gate. On the ground, there's an arrow made of stones that will lead toward the forest break. Take the left turn up and start driving your legs through this elevation gain.

The next 2km are pretty tough and will bring you all the way to the top of your first peak, West Wicklow Sugarloaf.

The first part is the forest clearing. At the top of the clearing is a metal gate, once you've gotten through it take the right until you hit the edge of the fence. Use this as the time to catch your breath before you start that climb again. This is your final push to the summit and will get you on the ridge line. Don't forget to glance over your shoulder and take in the view. The overall ascent for this portion is around 370m.

Now that you've made it to the first peak you're going to take the right and run along the ridge line. On your right, you'll be able to see Keadeen Mountain, Camarahill, Ballineddan Mountain, Slievemaan as well as Lugnaquilla (if it's a clear day). On your left, you'll be looking down into the valley that the Clashegall River flows through.

The ground is pretty muddy underfoot so be careful how you place your feet. The next peak on the trail is Lobawn. There's still around 100m of elevation gain left but it’s not as steep as before. Depending on the weather you should be able to see the Blessington lakes to the North as well as all the mountains around it. This is the halfway mark and the vast majority of the uphill is over now.

As you take the left and start running down to Pinnacle watch your footing as the trail is quite narrow and nonexistent in parts. If you look off to your right (North) you’ll see Corriebracks Mountain and Church Mountain (Leinster's Holy Mountain). This section is quite muddy until when you reach Pinnacle where you’ll see a large mound of rocks on the far side of a fence. Don’t cross the fence and follow that trail. If. If you were to make that mistake you could end up running an extra 5km just to get back to your car.....

Taking the left from on your side of the fence be careful as you start this descent. It’s pretty steep and can be slippy so don’t be afraid to slow down your pace. You’re now starting the final part of the run which will take you through farmland. Find and follow the farm road from the trail downhill until you get to a group of houses.

You will run passed these houses and take a left by a forest. You will then follow the road along the forest until it brings you back to the small clearing from the start. Take the right to go downhill and it’ll bring you back to the car park.

Overall I think this is an incredible trail in a part of Wicklow that isn’t very well explored. The route was around 10.6km with 474m of elevation. The trail is technical in places compared to running in Glendalough but still enjoyable and a lot quieter. If you’re looking for a more technical run in the mountains that isn’t outrageously far I think this is the one for you.

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