Powerscourt Waterfall may not be the largest or the highest waterfall in the world, but together with the breathtaking natural surroundings and Wicklow Mountains in the background, it creates one of the most spectacular scenery in Ireland. Located near the picturesque village of Enniskerry and the famous Powerscourt Gardens, it attracts many visitors, especially during summer weekends. However, if you wish to venture into the wild, there is a beautiful trail in the mountains that will even allow you to see the waterfall itself from a bird's eye view.
Powerscourt Waterfall in Enniskerry
Powerscourt Waterfall is 121 meters (around 400 ft.) high which makes it the highest waterfall in the Emerald Island. The river which flows into the fall, called Dargle, has a unique, red color, and it forms a beautiful little late at the bottom that contrasts perfectly with the huge silver rocks strewn around.
There is a cafe on the site and a possibility to enjoy barbecues (if you bring one with you). The waterfall and the surrounding area are owned by Powerscourt Estate and, unfortunately one must pay a fare to get there - around 5.50 EUR (6,30 USD) per person. There is a discount for student and children.
How to get to Powerscourt Waterfall
Proximity to Dublin is one of the great advantages of Enniskery and Powerscourt. It's located only around 30 km (18 miles) from the Irish capital and it takes around 1 hour to drive there.
If you don't have a car, and are not afraid of walking, public transport - Dublin Bus - number 44 (which runs every hour from the city center - O'Connell Street) will take you to Enniskerry village for 3.30 EUR (3,80 USD) one way. The bus journey also takes around 1 hour. Timetable available here.
From Enniskerry, you must walk up the steep road (towards Powerscourt Gardens) and then continue straight on. You will encounter a few crossroads but there will be signs directing you to the waterfall. The walk is easy but quite long (7 km/4,30 miles - around 1h 30 m), however, it's really worth the effort. You will cross the beautiful, lush green Irish countryside and if you are interested in staying overnight, there are multiple cozy B&Bs along the way.
The Powerscourt Trail
Usually, many people visit both places - Powerscourt Gardens (click here to have a look at the article about it) and the waterfall in one day. Although this is possible when you drive, if you use the public transport, I would recommend that you spend a weekend in or around Enniskerry. One day to visit the beautiful gardens (you can find some very exotic plants for Ireland growing outside - like palm trees, fern trees etc.) is enough.
To visit the waterfall, most of the people just come with their barbecue, sit on the grass and stay there for a few hours. Not many know about the loop trail which leads to the top of the Djouce mountain, out of which the waterfall emerges. The path follows a densely wooded area. To walk the whole trail, you should allow one full day.
When you reach the waterfall, turn left and follow the forest path (at first flat, but later it turns into a steep zigzag), all the way up to the top of the Djouce mountain. The views from there are incredible: you can admire the bird's eye view of the cliffs, green fields, the waterfall and even spot the Irish Sea.
There will be a few crossroads but keep walking along the edge of the mountain and you will be fine. When you get down the first hill, you will see a magnificent green valley cut by the Dargle river which forms the waterfall. The area looks like a movie set for a fantasy film. This spot is particularly popular for camping, so feel free to do it if you want, it's amazing!
Now, climb the steep green hill and when you reach the top you will be amazed by the mighty Sugar Loaf Mountain emerging behind the horizon. Soon you should also spot the waterfall. Follow the path down and when you get to a little clearing, right before entering a woodland, turn right and follow the little path. Go down the hill and you are back at the entrance gate to the waterfall. If you are not sure where to go, you can always ask other hikers how to get to Enniskerry village or the gate to the Powerscourt waterfall.
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