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march-fixer: Track 2173 in area near Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland)
Blessington Lakeside Walk
Length: 11.3km, Creator time taken: 1h52m, Ascent: 180m,
Descent: 202m

Places: Start at N98058 12894, end at N98138 13241 356m N from Start
Logged as completed by 1
This walking track is just perfect for any family outing. The track is well over a metre wide at all points and the surface is good quality compacted hardcore. On the few soggy areas there are excellent raised walkways. There is no problem whatsoever in bringing a child's buggy or even a wheelchair, though it could be a bit bumpy! There is excellent parking at the the Avon Ri Hotel (N98140 13232) at the edge of Blessington and also towards the other end at the Russelstown car-park (N96469 10972) across the road from Russborough House (just off the N81). For the entire path, allow at least 2 hours at a good steady walking pace and 3 hours if with slower walkers.

Credit is due to Wicklow County Council who are doing great work on their promise to put a walking track around Blessington Lakes. This walk is currently in two sections. To join the two sections it is required to walk along a busy 200 metre section of the N81. (As of October 2013, Wicklow Co. Co. has installed a very good quality wide path along the eastern side N81 which now joins the two sections of this walk). With the addition of this excellent path it is now possible to do a linear walk by leaving transport at either end. NOTE: Russelstown car-park is not a supervised area and break-ins are always possible!

This walk starts in the Ard Ri Hotel car-park, just south of Blessington village. There is amble parking available and the hotel is ideal for refreshments and facilities when required. Head to the south edge of the car-park and pass through a swing gate. The gravelled path leads south-west through marshland and along the edge of the lake. There are side paths to the left leading down to the water edge. There are also mountain bike tracks criss-crossing around this area. This section of the track is 1.8km long (3.6km return) and joins the N81 at a road-side barrier. The views along this southern section are really magnificent.

To continue to the next section, walk south, south west along the N81 along the new path past a small cottage set in off the road, on your left. Take the next left-hand turn east along the narrow road. This road leads you back into the woods around the lake and the track resumes beyond the metal barrier. Continue along the path until you eventually come to the R758 - Valleymount Road. Carefully cross the road and through the gate at the other side of the road. The path now continues on towards Russborough House Estate and eventually emerges at a lovely lake inlet and slip-way at Russellstown car-park. At the car-park, turn left and continue over towards the slipway. The path continues in front of you on the right hand side.

The track only continues until you meet a vehicle track leading down to the lakeside (as of May 2013). These old roads originally crossed the valley before it was flooded to create the Blessington Lake. Hopefully the county council will continue to push this path further around the lake over the coming months. (There is now another extension at Vallymount.Just search for Vallymount Lake Walk in this Tracks listing for directions).

Uploaded on: Wed, 8 May 2013 (13:15:50)
Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/track/2173/  
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Note: ALL information such as Ascent, Length and Creator time taken etc should be regarded as approximate. The creator's comments are opinions and may not be accurate or still correct.
Your time to complete will depend on your speed plus break time and your mode of transport. For walkers: Naismith's rule, a rough and often inaccurate estimate, suggests a time of 2h 33m + time stopped for breaks
Note: It is up to you to ensure that your route is appropriate for you and your party to follow bearing in mind all factors such as safety, weather conditions, experience and access permission.

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British summit data courtesy:
Database of British & Irish Hills
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"ASTER+": Hillshade and Contours
Courtesy of Tiles GIScience Research Group @ Heidelberg University More detail here