Glencar Waterfall well worth the staycation

Glencar Waterfall, County Leitrim, Ireland

Glencar Waterfall

Just 10 mins north of Sligo at lies the beautiful Glencar Waterfall, lough, walk and hike. Although so close to Sligo it it’s actually in county Leitrim.

This Leitrim waterfall itself is a large 50 ft waterfall, and has a loop walk where you get right up close to the waterfall and come back down the other side. Visiting the waterfall anytime is great as the flow of water is generally constant, although with that said it really is impressive after rain.

Location Of Glencar Waterfall

Situated about 15 minutes from the center of Sligo. With its rural location driving would be essential, check out the Goggle maps below

Did You Know

Glencar Waterfall was known to be the inspiration behind one of Ireland’s favourite and rightly famous poets, William Butler Yeats. The waterfall itself actually features in his poem the “Stolen Child”.

Our Trip To Glencar Waterfall

Lockdown was over and we decided we had to get out and see something, 4 months stuck in our four walls and adventure was needed. We packed up some swimmers, some refreshments and got ready to set off on a day trip.

After doing some research I came across a must and that was this Leitrim waterfall Glencar Waterfall, the pictures looked great and from our time in Australia we were often on a hunt through rainforests looking for waterfalls.

Off We Go Arriving Glencar Lough

We set off early as we figured we would beat the crowds (and the irish don’t like to get up to early). And about an hour an half drive and my 1 year old son playing wheels on the bus 100 times we arrived at Glencar.

On arrival at Glencar and about only 100 metres or so from the falls car park is a separate stop with these great views over the Glencar Lak the lake shore and all the surrounding beauty of County Sligo.

Glencar Lough

Enter Glencar Waterfall

The entrance to the Glencar waterfall walk. (please note Glencar is totally free excursion making it an even better place to visit).

First thought was how well maintained and kept the area was. We had brought wellies but there was certainly no need for them.

Glencar Waterfall entrance

After entering the walking track up to the falls you come across this beautiful stream which is where the waterfall runs to. After spending 5 minutes trying to stop my son jump in we finally got a few seconds to stop and admire the stream.

The stream from the falls

Past the stream and you then get your first glimpse of the beautiful Glencar Waterfall. We where surprised by the amount of water as it had a bit dry a few days prior. We were pleasantly surprised at how stunning it was.

Glencar Waterfall

Close up of the falls from hallway up the stairs is one of the best shot of the falls. And like we said previously so good to see so much water. Railings stop you getting up close but your close enough to admire its beauty.

Glencar waterfall

The walk has regular signs with information on the Waterfall

Falls Info

A side view of the fall as we turn up the path to start the Glencar walking track. Not before a pose next to the falls.

The Falls

The Walk Out

The walk out and loop through the dense forest is lovely and with the crashing noise of the waterfall in the background adding to its beauty.

Walking tracks

The second loop which brings you down to where you started at the stream. As you can see it is all very well maintained.

Final loop of track
Stream from the falls

Glencar also has a café serving teas, coffees, sandwiches, snacks and drinks. Also a great playground for the kids to play in ideally located in front of the cafe allowing you to keep an eye whilst you recharge.

Coffee shop and playground

Glencar Lough Hill Walk

Unfortunately not something we could do due to being with the kids. However we were told the views over Knocknarea, Sligo Bay, the Leitrim Hills and Glencar Lough & Valley are unbelievable.

This 7km wooded walk that takes you from the Lough of Glencar through the side of the second waterfall the devil chimney and through the hills towards Dooneens and either back along the same track or out around by Hudson’s road.

The wooded walk is relatively simple and is classed as a moderate walk .Its estimated to take 2 hours, and as stated goes for 7km, Suitable walking gear is regarded as needed.

The 5 Glens Atlantic Loop

The signs below show the 5 Glens Atlantic loop route.

This loop is a idea developed by local businesses to help promote local tourism. Its aim is to grow economical prospect for the local counties in the North West Region, Leitrim, Sligo, Donegal, Cavan, Fermanagh, Roscommon.

To find out more on this loop check the useful resource below, you may even like to pin it in Google maps

5 Glens Atlantic Loop

Tips For this trip

With it location being so close to Sligo city a favourite café of our would be the ever popular Sweet Beats Cafe. Its a Vegan cafe, but even for non vegans the flavour and quality in the food is second to none. And it’s why they have been nationally recognised as a leading café.

Sweet Beats homemade beans and soup

Another top tip would be with the short nature of the waterfall trip, tapping on a trip to the popular Strandhill beach. Located about 15 minutes outside the city Strandhill is a popular beach destination with tourists and holiday makers. Fine fish and chips shops and any number of restaurants.

Another and similar place would be Rosses Point which is only 20 minutes from Glencar. I

A small town on the peninsula, fantastic scenery, great food and wild landscape.

As always thanks for stopping by, be back soon for some more action.

Why not check out some more of our Ireland posts HERE

Love waterfalls? so do we here are a few of our favourite waterfall posts Curtis Falls Waterfall Mount tamborine, Purling Brook Falls Springbrook Mountain Gold Coast and Victoria Falls By Helicopter

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Curtis Falls Tamborine Mountain Waterfall

Curtis Falls Tamborine Mountain Waterfall

Set in the tropical Tamborine Mountain is the beautiful Curtis Falls waterfall and the Curtis Falls walking track. This Tamborine Mountain waterfall is one of the most popular and attractive waterfalls.

Tamborine Mountain a short 40 minute drive from the center of the Gold Coast and has a number of hotspots and a completely contrasting world compared to a city known for parties, beach and fun. Making it a popular retreat with tourists and locals alike to escape the busy city life..

The waterfall is situated between Eagle Heights and North Tamborine and consists of roughly 1 km round trip to the falls. With an elevation of 54 metres.

The Start

Enter the the walk and straight into a world of towering gum trees, Eucalyptus and a ever cool lush rainforest. Broken trees and and only the sound of distant whipbirds make for a peaceful and tranquil visit a truly enchanting walk.

The walk down to the falls is a beautiful flowing track through this lush environment. Well maintained tracks and handrails there to make the trek easier.

Note: As mentioned the track is elevated but not steep it suits most people apart from strollers and wheelchairs as there are parts which involve steps. But overall would class as a easy walk.

You may find platypus, turtles and even the famous east coast Brush Turkey on this trip. In fact there are always plenty of the Brush Turkeys around. these birds otherwise known as scrub turkeys are common on the west coast of Australia. They are black in colour with red beaks and is only one of three species to inhabit Australia.

At The Waterfall

After the short 1 km walk you arrive at the falls, access into the falls and surrounding rock pools is restricted in order to protect the landscape, however a viewing platform for a great angle and picture opportunity is available.

The waterfall seems to have a constant flow we went on a particularly dry month and as you can see below, was still full of water.

From the falls the stream of water runs off into the distance streams through the lush dense rainforest. To the front of the falls is a rockpool and surrounding waters running off down stream.


As you can tell by the short post this isn’t a trip to kill a few hours with its a quick round trip to catch a glimpse of this beautiful waterfall. and move on to the next adventure Tamborine Mountain has to offer. Another hit for waterfall lovers would be the Witches Falls waterfall in North Tamborine, only 5 minute drive from Curtis Falls.

On your return to the car park there is a café and picnic areas for you to refresh and ponder over your snaps.

Local recommendations

If the cafe doesn’t take your fancy a short drive to Eagle Heights where an abundance of cafes and restaurants to delve over.

One of our favorite’s is the Fortitude brewery serving there own beer made on sight and fantastic list of homemade pizzas. Also on the same site is the Witches Chase cheese factory, the do tailor made cheese platters for you to bring over and enjoy your beers or local wines. At the weekends local musicians are also laid on for your entertainment.

Top Tip: Make sure you try the Witches Chase triple cream brie, even to this day i have never tasted a better brie.

Fancy looking over what these guys do here is a link to there sites Fortitude Brewing Company and Witches Chase Cheese Company

Another local attraction full of fun is the treetop challenge at Thunderbird Park. A great day out with friends or the family.

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