Sruth in Aghaidh An Aird – The Devils Chimney

  • Length: 1.5 km
  • Ascent: 130 metres
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Longitude: 54.3406660666
  • Latitude: -8.3931469917
  • Trailhead: Roadside Parking
  • Waymarking: Black posts with Red Arrows
  • OSI Map Series: Series 16
  • Suggested Gear: Sturdy walking shoes, trekking boots, waterproofs, fluids, snacks and mobile phone

Directions - How to get to the Trailhead.

From Sligo town, take the N16 Enniskillen Road for approx 8km. Turn left (sign-posted Glencar Lake and waterfall). Drive for approx 3.2km, the trail car-park is located on the left.

The Waterfall – Sruth in Aghaidh An Aird, The Irish name for the waterfall ‘Sruth in Aghaidh An Aird’ means stream against the height and denotes the fact that during certain weather conditions when the wind blows from the South, the waterfall is blown upward and back over the cliff from which it falls.The waterfall does not flow during periods of dry weather; however, it is particularly spectacular during or immediately after periods of heavy rainfall.

Upon leaving the car park, enter through the pedestrian ‘kissing gate’ to the right of the trail head sign. The trail is 1.2km in length and involves an ascent of approximately 30 minutes and a descent of approximately 15 minutes. Sturdy footwear/boots are recommended as the trail is steep and can be slippery in wet weather.

Geology & Landscape

Throughout Ireland the iconic landscape of Benbulben and the Dartry Mountain plateau is so well known that in many people’s minds it symbolises County Sligo. The magnificent rock edifice rises abruptly some 526m from sea level and is largely composed of Carboniferous limestone, the layers of which can be seen on the cliff face. The limestone rock was carved by glaciers coming west down Glencar and around from the north-east, cutting the face of Benwisken on the way. Glencar is a magnificent example of a glacial U-shaped valley with a ribbon lake situated within.
Since the glaciers cut the vertical faces out of the limestone rock, the processes of erosion have taken their toll and the stone has gradually fallen away to create the characteristic limestone talus or scree slopes at the base of the cliffs which are visible from the elevated portions of the trail.

Flora and Fauna

Glencar valley supports a wide variety of plants and animals. Both the lands above the trail and the lake are designated as a Special Area of Conservation due to their own rich ecological value. Species range from Otter to Peregrine Falcon. Of particular interest are the yew trees which grow high on the steep slopes below the cliff face. Due to their inaccessible location and slow growing nature, these trees are believed to be some of the oldest growing on the island of Ireland, some of which may be as old as 1000 years.

Did You Know?

At 492 feet (150m) Sruth in Aghaidh An Aird (also known as the Devils Chimney) is listed on the World Waterfall database as Ireland’s Tallest Waterfall.
Public Notices. Please note that the waterfall does not flow during dry weather conditions. If it is not visible on the cliff face from the car-park, then it is not flowing.
Dogs must be kept under control at all times due to the presence on these lands of sheep, lambs, donkeys, ducks, hens and cats.

The trail will be closed for one day annually on the 24th December.

See link below showing the forces of the strong wind competing against the flow of the water causing the waterfall to be blown upwards.

2 thoughts on “Sruth in Aghaidh An Aird – The Devils Chimney


    I agree with Dilean’s comment above about the “Devils Chimney” being inaccurate. Sruth in Agaidh An Ard is the correct name. Much more authentic and Irish 🙂

  2. “The Devils Chimney” is inaccurate. This is not a name for this feature, and never has been until an erroneous Tripadvisor entry.

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