I’m a great fan of the old Tibradden track. It’s just right for the days when I want to go for a 90 minute mountain run, but don’t want to travel too away far from home. On days like these, Tibradden is the place where I’d be headed.
Tibradden is right in the middle of the Dublin Mountains. It’s a little less frequented than the recreationally popular Ticknock which is literally just around the corner. But with appealing forests, good tracks, easy slopes, and fun rocky descents, it’s a real treat to be headed Tibradden way.
The Dublin Mountains Partnership (DMP) seems to be really making an effort these days to promote this side of the mountain. At the weekend, the car park is now open for the general public from 11am-5pm, whereas before it was firmly shut except for special occasions. The tracks have been resurfaced and there has been construction of a new path through the pine forest. Signboards have gone up with maps, trail information, and useful contacts. And it seems to be working: on Saturday afternoon, I encountered walker after walker out enjoying the mountain and the trails.
Tibradden eventually meets the Wicklow Way, and this I followed, deviating only at the end to head on up Fairy Castle (click here for a map). The trails on top were dry and springy, unlike the boggy, wet mess that usually lies up there. On over to Two Rock, then straight down the slope to eventually enter the forest on the left. I jogged along the forest track back round to Three Rock masts, enjoying the sun and silence as I went. From there it was up the hill again towards Fairy Castle, cutting off early to run the wet path, eventually joining the Wicklow Way again at the woka-wokas (which are sadly now flattened). I returned as I came, down the rocky descent, cutting back through the forest to Tibradden’s cairn and through the Pine Forest at the end.
A 14km run in a leisurely 90 minutes. But regardless of distances and times, it was just a great way of spending a summery Saturday afternoon out in a place that is less than 20 minutes’ drive from my house.
(I ran Tibradden on Christmas Eve last year as well: compare the photos here!)