The Ballycorus Leadmines hike is a great alternative to the more popular hiking options available to folks passing through Dublin. Many of the well-known trails while incredibly scenic/iconic will draw large crowds in the summer or basically any day when it's not raining...
Regardless of the weather, the hike up to the Leadmines is a great option for something local a bit less travelled. Along the way you'll take in many of the wonderful sights and sounds so common to the natural beauty of Ireland.
We'll explore this route in four sections:
The Leadmines chimney is prominently visible in South Dublin and while it's a bit of a climb to the top (roughly 210 meters), your efforts will pay huge dividends.
Beginning in the small town of Shankill, you'll wind your way up to the top of the hill behind the town. The Leadmines hike route detailed below does have a small amount of transit along roads, so take care.
Starting at Brady's in Shankill, head north until you see a car park on your left behind the restaurant/bar. If you pass the Spar, you've gone too far...
There will be a paved path heading west you'll want to follow. This short jaunt will connect with a road/cul-de-sac, but continue on the path which will quickly move into a residence and then out across a footbridge spanning the M11. Up a short little hill you'll tee into Lordello Road.
Next you'll follow Lordello Road west. There is no sidewalk along this paved road, so you'll want to take care - traffic is generally not a problem, but take care on the one blind corner.
At the junction with Ferndale Road, head north (to your right) and continue along for about 150m at which point you'll cross the road to a long paved drive to your left. This drive then terminates at the start of a rocky nature trail marking the start to the third section...
You may find the odd car at the end of this drive, but I'd suspect this is bad form as this road appears to be shared with some of the local property owners. At the start of the trailhead (and an entrance to Rathmichael Wood Recreation Area) is an interesting old celtic cross.
Continuing up the trail you'll come to a fork. The path marked out in this third section shows the left option, but either way will get you to Puck's Castle Lane. Along the highlighted route you'll see a small pond and a running stream right before the junction with the road. The climb is relatively easy with a few great vistas along the way.
At the junction with Puck's Castle Lane, turn left and head up the road a few hundred meters up the narrow road at which point you should see a gate on the right. This gate marks the trailhead up to the Ballycorus Leadmines Chimney. Often you'll see several cars parked here along the road next to the trailhead.
From here it's a straight trek up to the top of the hill at which point you'll see the chimney. This section is a pretty good climb, so you might want to have your water handy as needed. Once you get up to the top of the hill, you'll be treated to 360 degree panoramic views of Dublin to the North, Sugarloaf to the south and Bray/Greystones to the south-east. Take some time to explore the tower a bit and then when you're ready, continue on to Carrickgollogan Hill to the south for another adventure or retrace your steps back to the start and call it a day.
For a little history on Ballycorus Leadmines, take a look at Wikipedia here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballycorus_Leadmines