Dodder Valley Park

Shaped by the Dodder River, this park runs from the Dublin Mountains through South Dublin County. The Dodder Valley Park supports a rich variety of birds, animals and insects. The fish stock is predominantly wild and introduced brown trout.

In addition to its natural conservation value, the park offers a rich heritage, outstanding scenery and a sanctuary for peaceful recreation. The Dodder River provides the focus for this marvellous park which extends from Old Bawn Bridge in Tallaght to Rathfarnham — a distance of 6km. Linking the Dublin Mountains with city suburbia, the park consists of over 100 hectares of fragmented parkland and remnant countryside. Dodder Valley Park offers city dwellers a unique opportunity to enjoy the natural atmosphere of the countryside without travelling a great distance. The Dodder has a long history of milling with a legacy of weirs.

Enjoy a walk along the Dodder.

Old Bawn Weir – The original parts of the Old Bawn Bridge and Weir date from the 1840’s.

Firhouse/Balrothery Weir – During the 12th century, the Great Weir at Firhouse became one of the highlights of the Dodder Valley. During the middle ages, the “City Watercourse” carried water from the River Dodder to the Poddle to supplement the water supply to the growing city of Dublin.

Natural Heritage Area –- The significance of the Dodder Valley as a relatively unspoiled natural reserve is recognised by its designation in part as a Natural Heritage Area.

The Stone Cross — One of three similar crosses in the area, this cross at Cherryfield was erected in 1867 by a local farmer in thanksgiving for the preservation of his dairy herd from a dreadful plague.

Austin Clarke Bridge -– Named after the poet and writer Austin Clarke (1896-1974), who lived nearby.

Lord Ely’s Gate -– Built around the 1770s, this is one of two gates which served Rathfarnham Castle.


Walking/jogging, picnic, sports, nature watch.


Firhouse Weir & Waterfall, riverside walks, picnic areas, playing pitches, tennis courts, basketball court.


November, December & January: 10.00am–5.00pm
February & March: 10.00am–6.00pm
April & October: 10.00am–7.00pm
May & September: 10.00am–8.00pm
June, July & August: 10.00am–9.00pm

Please note that for operational reasons, the car parks are closed in sequence. Some car parks therefore close in advance of the official closing time. Where the closing time varies from the official closing time, the earlier time is prominently displayed at the entrance to the car park.

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