It’s International Mountain Day and this year the theme is ‘Mountains Matter for Youth’. We’re big fans of a gentle ascent here at G+C so we’ve found a few different hilly walks you can do with the whole famjam, no matter age or ability!
Binn Shliéibhe (Mount Gable), Co. Galway
At around 10km, this linear walk is, for the most part, an easy amble sandwiched between steeper climbs at either end. With picturesque lake views along the way, this is a great one for the family if you’ve got a weekend day free for wandering! There are a couple of unmarked paths here though so bring your navigation kit!
Ballycotton Cliff Walk, Co. Cork
More cliff than mountain, Ballycotton offers some beautiful views and will keep the littler ones occupied and happy without too much of the ‘my legs hurt’ commentary! It’s a linear walk, not a loop so keep in mind that whatever your outward distance, you’ll be doing it again on the way back!
A little more appropriate for the older youth in the pack, the Stairway to Heaven is a long and sometimes challenging several-hour walk but the views are 100% worth it. Coming in at around 14km, you’ll navigate your way along the boardwalk completed in 2015, in an effort to preserve the bog and peatland underneath. Make sure the phone is charged up for some epic Insta moments on the stairs!
Dublin Mountains Way, Co. Dublin
The Dublin Mountains Way is 42.6km of way-marked trail in the beautiful Dublin Mountains. There are loads of hillwalking and hiking options to choose from here, so do a little extra research and pick the options that suit the age and fitness level of your clan. Ther are a couple of great pit-stops in the area too so you can refresh and refuel!
Not technically a mountain but awesome all the same and definitely worthy of inclusion in this list! The Sugarloaf is one of our faves here at G+C - we climb it every year as part of our birthday celebrations and at a less-than-lofty 501m, it’s a great option for the whole famjam. Parts of the climb can be a bit of a rock-scramble so make sure everyone’s kitted out in good hiking shoes!
Torc Mountain, Co. Kerry
A moderate walking route, Torc Mountain is around 2-and-a-half hours and you’ll get spectacular views of Killarney National Park and Muckross House. There’s also a waterfall along the way which is always a good incentive for getting the fam outta the house and into the wild (not to mention the selfie opportunities)! Much of the walk is ‘paved’ with wooden sleepers so it’s not too much of a scramble for little legs.
Also not technically a mountain, but still with a bit of an ascent and some of the best views of the Irish Sea, Howth Head Loop offers a few different route options, depending on how much time you have to spare. Set aside anywhere from 2 to 4 hours and make sure to stop for some quality fish and chips in Howth Village on the way back!
Diamond Hill Loop, Co. Galway
Nestled in Connemara National Park, the Diamond Hill Loop is a challenging but doable walk for the amateur mountaineers among us! Set aside at least 2 hours for this climb and expect incredible views of the 12 Bens! Keep in mind that just because this is one of the smaller peaks in Connemara doesn’t mean you should take anything for granted - make sure you’re well-equipped with the right walking shoes, warm gear and supplies!