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HomeHikingMoanbane and Silsean from Ballyknockan Wicklow — Our Family Hikes

Moanbane and Silsean from Ballyknockan Wicklow — Our Family Hikes

Moanbane is the 85th highest mountain in Ireland and sits at an elevation of 703m above sea level. Silsean is 698m and is a 30-minute walk from Moanbane.

Moanbane to Silsean hike- Key information

  • Allow 2-3 hours to hike from Ballyknockan
  • Parking and picnic tables at the start point
  • Navigation Skills- Essential
  • No signs or visible trail to follow
  • Amazing views
  • 8 out of 10 for difficulty-Very steep
  • 11 km out and back hike

Starting point to hike Moanbane and Silsean

At the base of the mountain, there is a designated car park with 2 picnic tables and enough parking for 5-10 cars. We parked our car here.

Initially, couldn’t see a distinct hiking trail to walk the mountain. We started our hike to Moanbane by crossing the gate in front of the car park and walking in the direction of Silsean, first (RHS of the mountain).

Hiking to Silsean

We decided to hike to Silsean first, then we would cross over the ridge to Moanbane. After walking through the two flat fields at the start of the hike, we came to an open area below the base of the mountain. We walk towards a recently cut-down forest to the right as we looked at the mountain.

We follow the line of the fence ascending towards the summit until we reach the end of the fence. This section of the hike is EXTREMELY steep and very tough on the legs.

From here, we continue towards the summit. The landscape starts to turn very boggy with large peat mounds. After hiking 55 minutes from the car we see Silsean summit stone mount insight.

Hiking from Silsean to Moanbane

The summit of Silsean is distinct due to the large stone mount and the view over the Baltinglass lakes in the background. We turn left at Silsean summit, passing a small lake.  We walk in the direction of Moanbane while descending slightly and crossing the ridge between both mountains. The ground is very boggy in this location, with deep holes from water and peat.

We ascend again to climb the side of Moanbane but it is not too steep or long before we see a post in the distance marking the summit of Moanbane.

The summit of Moanbane is marked with a timber stake and a small lake.

Descending Moanbane to Ballyknockan

From Moanbane, we descend downward while trying to track back toward the base of Silsean. The descent is easy but navigation is required, as it’s easy to pick the wrong reference point to descent towards. Our descent was quick and easy. We walked into a herd of deer grazing while descending, it made for a great distraction on our descent.

Conclusion of Moanbane and Silsean hike

A very nice hike with two great summits. It took us 2 hours 10 minutes to summit both mountains and return back to the car. The hike is tough but very rewarding. Navigation is required on this mountain. We recommend the Viewranger app and a power bank for your phone.

Map of Moanbane to Silsean Wicklow hike

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