Lacken Hill coillte logo

Good to Know

Sat Nav:   52.404196, -6.879045 (Trailhead)

OSI Discovery Map Series: 76

Grid Reference: S 759 281

Guided Tours: N

Parking: Y

Don't Miss

  • The carpets of bluebells in the woodlands in early summer.
  • Stunning views from the summit Lacken Hill.
  • Sit beside The Ponds, listen to the Maudlin Stream and watch out for abundant wildlife.
  • St. Mary’s Church (13th Century, originally built by the Norman knight William Marshal and his wife Isabel, founders of New Ross)
  • A tasty bite to eat at the Dunbrody Visitor Centre, Mannion’s Pub or one of the many cafés in New Ross.
bluebells on the forest floor in Dunbrody Forest


New Ross

Lacken Hill is set in a beautiful landscape, overlooking the historic Norman town of New Ross. From the 193m high hill-summit there are panoramic views of the south-east including the Comeragh Mountains, Brandon Hill, the Blackstairs Mountains and the Barrow estuary. The four trails will take you through forests rich in wild flowers, herbs, fungi, berries and wildlife and along scenic country roads and historic streets. Nestled beneath the hill are three ringforts which, according to legend, are under the protection of the Aes Sídhe or fairy folk.

Forest of Dunbrody Trail – This walk will take you through the Forest of the Dunbrody, where Coillte in partnership with the JFK Trust planted some 25,000 trees comprising of ash, oak, larch and douglas fir, to replace the trees used in building the ‘Dunbrody Famine Ship’. The forest provides a perfect habitat for abundant flora and fauna to thrive as the seasons unfold and you may spot woodpeckers, blue jays, pheasants, long-eared owls and red squirrels. A fairy village located beside the woodland path is a source of wonderment and is an attraction for children.

Lacken Hillside Trail – Walking through the mature beech woodland the trail continues to the summit along winding forest paths. Once the site of a Rebel Camp in 1798, the hill is now a place of peace and tranquillity. On the summit stands a Holy Year cross erected in 1950 and a commemorative stone dedicated to those who died in battle in 1798, some of whom are said to be buried on the hill in unmarked graves. A second fairy village is located to the left of the path as you reach the summit. On your return walk, take a left as you enter the forest for wonderful views of West Wexford.

Scarke Loop – On this walk you will come to the Forge Crossroads where you will find a commemorative stone outlining the history of Denn’s forge where pikes were made prior to the Battle of Ross. Keep an eye out for a flock of Jacob sheep grazing at the Queen Anne gate lodge.

Millstream Trail – Follow this trail by the Maudlins Stream to Ballyroe Bridge and the ruin of Napper’s Mill which overlooks The Ponds. The stream which once powered seven mills, is now a tranquil haven for wildlife such as kingfishers and otters. The trail follows Hook Mill Lane and leads to the Fairgreen in the Irishtown, once the setting for thirteen market days each year and where now stands a monument dedicated to the Battle of Ross and the 1798 rebellion. The monument is reputed to have origins dating back to when a ‘long stone’ occupied the position of the present cross as a pagan symbol. You can follow the map along currently unmarked sections of the trail, to explore the historic streets of New Ross, visit the Dunbrody Famine Ship, The Ros Tapestry, St. Mary’s Church and Woodville House and Gardens.

Lacken Hill Map image




Walking time



Lacken Hilltop

4.75 km (2.9 miles)


1hr 15 min (return)



Forest of Dunbrody

1.75km (1.1 miles)


30 min




11.3km to 13.6km


1hr 45 min to 2 hrs



Scarke Loop

7 km (4.4 miles)


1hr 30 minutes



Distance:  4.75km (2.95 miles)
Ascent:  193m
Walking time:  1hr 15min
Waymarking:  Blue
Grade:  Moderate

Distance: 1.75km (1.1 miles)
Ascent: 62m
Walking time: 30min
Grade: Moderate

Distance : 11.3km to 13.6km (7 miles)
Ascent : 118m
Walking time: 1hr 45min to 2hours
Grade: Easy

Distance: 7km (4.4 miles)
Ascent: 131m
Walking time: 1hr 30min
Grade: Easy

Getting Here

The trailhead is situated at Lacken Hill forest entrance. bFrom the N25 take the L-8144. Turn left at the second crossroads onto the L-4007 and the trailhead is on the left. From the N30 take the L-8144. Turn right at the next crossroads onto the L-4007.