Glencar Lake and Waterfall

  • Trailhead: Roadside Parking
  • Length: 2.2km (Bog Road)
  • Ascent: 230m (Bog road)
  • Time: 2 hrs return
  • Suggested Gear: Boots, liquids, mobile phone
  • Longitude: 54.340360
  • Latitude: -8.373239

The Trail Map:- OSI Map Series 16

As you reach Glencar which straddles the border between counties Sligo and Leitrim with its dramatic steep cliffs, you will notice a series of waterfalls cascading from the heights. Glencar waterfall is perhaps the most dramatic descending from a 50ft rocky headland into a deep pool below in a haze of white spray. The Car Park at Glencar provides access to three alternative routes to the waterfall itself, the lake shore road walk and the “bog road” providing access to a spectacular semi-wilderness area in the Dartry Mountains.

The Routes
The Bog Road – From the car park at the Shore of Glencar Lake, walk west along the county road past the boathouse, take the first road on the right hand side and continue into the forest. As you exit the forest continue to the left, across the stile past the stream along a sheep track to a small heather clad hill to the walled cliff edge for more spectacular views of Glencar Lake and the Swiss Valley at some 500m. Return back along the bog road.

The Waterfall – It is most worthwhile to walk up the short path to Glencar waterfall. This is less than a 1km walk along a paved path and is suitable for all types of users. It provides a wonderful vantage point from which to view the waterfall which is particularly spectacular during wet conditions.

The Lake Shore – The walk along the lake shore is linear in nature, gentle in gradient and uses the public road which is generally quiet. The road hugs the shore line and provides wonderful views over the expanse of the lake. This walk gives the visitor a discreet view of the vast array of bird and animal life which thrive on the lake.

Did you know?
The famous poet W.B.Yeats immortalised the waterfall in his poem “the Stolen Child”. Where the Wandering Water gushes, from the hills above Glencar”.

*Sections of this route cross Coillte property, for up to date information on diversions/closures due to tree felling, please visit

Directions - How to get to the Trailhead.

Take the N16 northwards toward Manorhamilton and Enniskillen; continue for about 7 km, turning left at the sign for Glencar waterfall. Follow this local road for a further 5km until you reach the trail head.

7 thoughts on “Glencar Lake and Waterfall

  1. It’s beautiful, not huge but idyllic because of the scenery . What makes it special is the fact that William Yeats wrote some of his poetry there, he was inspired by the falls. In recent years the entrance to the falls through the woods has been modified to make it more accessible which is a good thing, but I’ll never forget when I first saw Glencar falls many years ago when it was completely in it’s natural state. The modernisation ie putting in barriers fences and paths did improve it in safety and access terms but the natural beauty of the place is magically immortal. A place not to be missed when visiting Sligo.

  2. I have taken many of my group tours to Glencar waterfall and all of the people I took there totally enjoyed it and were so delighted with the stop. They loved the peace and quite, the falls themselves and the lake. The Scenery is spectacular and I have Glencar Waterfalls on many of my Itineraries for future tours. Secret Ireland Tours LLC would highly recommend a visit to Glencar Waterfall.

  3. Imagine giving a rating like that has absolutely nothing to do with the walk. Sad.

    Anyway we did this at the weekend. Absolutely stunning views at the top and beautiful woods with a wide variety of tree types.

  4. Was very disappointed on arrival at the entrance to the falls, to see a notice saying no dogs permitted. What sort of country walk excludes dogs, it was too warm to leave our dogs in the car so we missed out on this. The notice should have specified that dogs be kept on a lead, like other local walks we have been on. Not a great advert for the local tourist trade. We will be putting this on trip advisor.

    1. Well, you were in the Irish countryside, so nobody would’ve complained, and I’m sure there were no dog patrols (as they don’t really exist), so there was nothing to stop you taking the dogs with you.

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