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Banagher Forest

Longer variation of the walk at Banagher Glen taking in the part of the largest piece of commercial forestry in County Derry.




9 miles

OS Map

Sheet 7&8 or Sperrins Activity Map

Nearest Town

Dungiven or Feeny

Route Shape


Route Type



Surfaced road & forest track

Grid Reference (Start)


Grid Reference (End)


Point of Interest

Bangher Dam, views of the sperrins and birdlife

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty


Route Description

Start from the first car park at the bottom of Banagher Glen, signposted from the B74 Dungiven to Feeny road. Turn left out of the car park, pass through the kissing gate and continue as the road climbs upwards through the ancient woodland of Banagher Glen. Continue to the fork in the road, taking the left fork signed for the dam and continue past an interpretive panel on a bridge. Legend has it that the large snake like monster known as Lig-na-Paiste escaped from St Patrick and hid in the gorge under the bridge where it still remains.

The road climbs on steeply up the glen. Take great care on this section as there is a steep drop to the right hand side. Ignore all other tracks leading off until Altnaheglish Dam and reservoir come into view. Follow the rough gravel lane and turn right towards the entrance of Banagher Forest and follow the path along the edge of the reservoir for approx. 2 km. Take a sharp right turn to cross the Altnaheglish River and then another turn right. The path begins to climb through the trees before turning sharply to the left, right and then left again.

The trail then summits the saddle of Altnaheglish Hill (360 metres) providing views of Sawel, Dart and Mullaghclogha and to Donegal in the distance to the west on the drop down the other side. Eventually the track comes to a T junction where you have two choices. Turn right to shorten your walk (green route) by taking the higher track that meets the Glenedra Burn further downstream at Ballydoonan Bridge.

The second option of turning left will allow you to take a longer descent through the forest. After fording the Glenedra Water (or Crooked Burn) take the next right and follow the trail for 3.5 kms to reach Ballydoonan Bridge. From here follow the trail downhill for another 1.5km to return to the car park.

These walks are situated in a working forest environment and may be subject to diversion and closure from time to time.

Up to date information is available on the Forest Service web site - link below.

Getting to the Start

Translink - journeyplanner.translink.co.uk


Car park open seasonally at Magheramore Rd entrance.


1. Walk the Sperrins- Landscapes from Stone. 2. Your guide to walking the Casueway Coast & Glens 3. The Sperrins Walking Guide

Publication Availability

Limavady TIC 028 7776 0307 Causeway Coast & Glens 028 7032 7720 Sperrins Tourism 028 8674 7700

Walk Location
Map of Northern Ireland
Image Gallery

Ratings and Comments

Patricia Bonilla 28 August, 2019 @ 07:38

Amazing day for our family. 9 easy miles to walk with children . Te reservoir is absolutely lovely.

Ed Donnelly 10 February, 2018 @ 19:31

Excellent day out for me and the grandchildren.

Helen 7 May, 2017 @ 17:00

Lovely day for the circular walk in Banagher Glen and forest. The bluebells were in full bloom and there were plenty of cuckoo calls.

A good walk, enough challenge without being strenuous, but little by way of signs so take a map.

Dawn 13 April, 2017 @ 20:19

Tough initial ascent leads into beautiful scenery around the dam and further lush forest. Highly recommended walk. Avoid walking up the steep, rough gravel road toward the big pile of logs further on round and instead drop down left into the gentle downward final 4-5km back to the car park. Start early.

Sarah 14 September, 2016 @ 23:02

9 miles of joy!! We arrived in fog which we thought would spoil the walk but it added a Jurassic quality to the glen - we expected to see brontosaurus grazing in the trees!

The reservoir was absolutely beautiful and its irregular shape meant new landscapes at every turn and sandwiches with a view! The stands of pine coming down to the water made it feel like Canada

The walking was easy (new bridge=no fording) and the route not too difficult. One warning - the big gate with the massive red 'Road Closed' sign near the end of the route does not apply to walkers and you can slip by it - rather than detour up a huge hill like we did (1 mile of pain!).

Altogether a wonderful walk.

Nicola 29 March, 2016 @ 00:47

Beautiful walk. However very poorly sign posted making it difficult to follow the trail. Recommend taking a map with you if you plan to do this walk.

Sarah 14 June, 2013 @ 23:30

LOVE this little challenge of a walk... Gorgeous scenery... Very special

Oonagh 19 March, 2013 @ 00:17

A beautiful walk - my first time to do it in the snow! there was a film of ice around the edges of the reservoir and we only met one other person. the silence is remarkable.

Kathleen Ferguson 11 July, 2009 @ 09:09

.Enjoyed the variety of steep mixed woodland, sheltered walk round reservoir, forest walk and open country. Wide range of flora, saw birds of prey and a charm of goldfinches. Had to ford the river twice! Does anyone know what happened to Ballydoonan Bridge?

Ronnie Irvine 8 April, 2009 @ 14:17

Bridge gone at grid reference: IC 692018 .Quite an inconvenience-a set of stepping stones would do the job.

Shaun F McKittrick 9 March, 2009 @ 20:10

A beautiful walk. You really need an OS map though to avoid getting lost. See http://www.causewaycoastandglens.com/Banagher-Glen.T401.aspx for same.

Ronnie Irvine 18 December, 2007 @ 01:59

A beautiful walk which can also be accessed from B40 C701007 or from beyond Barony Bridge at C726022-but very limited parking-some discreet waymarking would help.

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