Sruth in Aghaidh An Aird – The Devil’s Chimney

  • Trailhead: Roadside Parking
  • Length: 1.5 km
  • Ascent: 130 metres
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Suggested Gear: Sturdy walking shoes, trekking boots, waterproofs, fluids, snacks and mobile phone
  • Longitude: 54.3406660666
  • Latitude: -8.3931469917

The Trail Map:- OSI Map Series 16

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.

Devils Chimney

The Route
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.

Devil's Chimney

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.

The video below shows the forces of the strong wind competing against the flow of the water causing the waterfall to be blown upwards.

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.

10 thoughts on “Sruth in Aghaidh An Aird – The Devil’s Chimney

  1. Really was lucky the day myself and friend done the walk. Sun shone. I had inappropriate shoes on (my mistake)it’s beautiful.

  2. Lovely path. One thing I’d say is, if the river is dry, it’s not clear when you have come to the end, as the path ends near the cliff face where there is no waterfall if the river is dry (which is often). I started wandering up the rocks as there is a rough trail there, but it can be slippy and dangerous. Stay at the viewing area! Lovely short trail through the woods. Luckily the wind was from the south and the stream was blowing skywards.

  3. The area where the walk is situated looks incredible any time of the year, and it looks absolutely stunning when there is some sunhine and blue skies. I’ve had the pleasure of growing up around this location and visiting the waterfall always feels refreshing and calming. My only question is, when and why was the name ‘The Devils chimney added? In the fifty three years I’ve lived close to it, I’ve never heard it called that name until recently. ‘Tourism’ perhaps? Personally I feel it’s a ridiculous gimicky name and needs to be removed as to allow our Irish heritage to survive as so much has gone and Ireland is being homoginised into a tourist destination based on food and drink and scenery. Glencar valley has so much history, we dont need to change names of things to make it attractive, just highlight what’s really there.

  4. Was an absolutely fabulous climb Just take it easy and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of nature and fresh air .one more tick off my bucket list ?? And plenty more to do where’s next? Please tell ?

  5. I have written about the ancient language in Ireland and UK prior to the arrival of the Celts this is a period many many thousands of years bc. The word Aird comes from a substrate of the Wolof language in Senegal and means ‘Protection’ . The Wolof word is ‘Aar’. We know what lies ahead if you walk into that river !

  6. Again Dilean is right. This is Sruth in Aghaidh an Aird. Devil’s Chimney was never the traditional name. The name and the labelling needs to be changed, it’s insulting. You need to be careful if you leave the path, and though the landowners do great work to maintain the place, please don’t litter. Stunning views and a powerful site.

  7. 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 🙂

  8. “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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