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Quality Walk

Ness, Ervey and Burntollet

Ness Country Park

This steep wooded glen is a remnant of extensive natural oakwoods and comprises 20 ha, with riverside/woodland paths including wooden steps & footbridges, habitat of many different species of wildlife and birdlife. The site is also an ASSI and is NIEA owned and managed. Recent development work in the park now means the walk extends along both sides of the Burntollet River joining Ness and Ervey Woods. It also includes an area of level meadow, providing easy-access walking for less able visitors. The Park has wildlife ponds, picnic tables, wildflower meadows and a new Visitor Centre where you can view an exhibition on woodland biodiversity.

Ervey Wood

A large section of the wood is also an ASSI extending for over 1km on the northern side of the flanks and floor of the Burntollet Glen, with the Burntollet River running adjacent to its southern boundary. A pleasant walk in all seasons with some steep inclines, although best in spring. It is also owned and managed by NIEA.

Recent development work in the park now means the the walk extends along both sides of the Burntollet River joining Ness and Ervey Woods

Burntollet Wood

Burntollet Wood sits adjacent to Ness Country Park. The wood is still in its infancy and is an Area of Special Scientific Interest containing fragments of rare ancient woodland. The Woodland Trust has planted over 43,000 native trees at Burntollet, mostly oak with scatterings of ash, alder and wild cherry. The young trees will buffer the nearby pockets of ancient woodland, slowly linking habitats together and providing an extended haunt for the Valley’s precious wildlife. In summertime, visitors will be treated to 11 hectares (27 acres) of gloriously coloured wild flowers. Vibrant displays of yellow rattle, birdsfoot trefoil, red campion, and ox-eye daisy await you. The flowers, interspersed with clover, barley and oats, provide a valuable habitat for numerous species of insects and birds.





4 miles

OS Map

Sheet 7

Nearest Town


Route Shape


Route Type

Riverside, Woodland


Woodland / Riverside Paths / Wooden boardwalks/steps.

Grid Reference (Start)


Grid Reference (End)


Point of Interest

Highest Waterfall in Northern Ireland, Red Squirrels

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Other Area

Route Description

Follow the path from the car park at the visitors centre down to the right, past an area of recently created ponds and across Hone's Bridge. Follow the path along the north side of the Burntollet River ignoring the bridge to the right (this leads to a path that is currently closed due to subsidence), until you reach the second bridge. Cross the bridge and ascend the steps . The path will then lead you past Ness waterfall across Shanes Bridge. Continue on the path into the woodland, passing the viewing point for the waterfall. Follow this path downhill until you turn right onto a path leading uphill, this path leads above mature woodland and then reaches a turning point , taking a sharp left down a series of wooden steps towards the river turning right to rejoin the path to take you back to the visitors centre.

Take the path to the left from the visitors centre, crossing the River Burntollet at Browns Bridge. Follow the path for 1.5 km, turning right at the junction. This route loops up to Ervey Wood car park.  Continue on through Ervey Wood car park to access Burntollet Wood. Follow the red waymarker arrows around Burntollet Wood, in a clockwise direction. You will pass by several viewpoints and information panels describing wildlife and wildflowers that can be found in the area. Pass through a kissing gate to bypass a private property, before re-entering the wood through another kissing gate. Continue to follow the path back to Ervey Wood Car Park.

To follow the route back to the visitors centre, cross the small area of grassland to the right of the car park and enter the wood through the wooden gate. This path will lead back to the visitors centre.



Getting to the Start (by Public Transport)

Translink - journeyplanner.translink.co.uk

Getting to the Start (by Car)

The walk starts 4.5 km NW of the village of Claudy and 13km SE of Derry City, well signposted from A6 via Oughtagh Rd.


Dogs are allowed. Dogs must be kept under control around Visitor Centre & car parks

Accessibility Grade

Grade 4

Accessible Facilities

The following facilities are available for users with limited mobility:

Visitors Centre
Disabled toilets
Disabled parking


Visitor Centre, Toilets, Car park, Picnic Site.

Please see link below to Ness Country Park for opening times.


Ness Country Park Guide/Map

Publication Availability

Available at Visitor Centre

Walk Location
Map of Northern Ireland
Image Gallery
Maps and Downloads

Ratings and Comments

eamsimpson@yahoo.co.uk 10 May, 2019 @ 15:50

first time at the park today and certainly will be back Toilets were spotless and the ranger/warden give us advice on path been closed and told us about the new piece of woodland which we found and enjoyed our walk around it. The path was closed but due to open next week to give access to waterfall from the visitor carpark but again we were advised where to park the car and how to go to see the waterfall..we did not go as time was short but will be back to this little hidden treasure of a forest well done NIEA you have done yourself proud

Robert Marvin 20 February, 2018 @ 20:50

Gorgeous Site! Beautiful winding trails along a riverside path, many different lichens and ancient big old trees!

Padraig 2 September, 2016 @ 10:41

Great place to spend a couple of peaceful hours. Lovely river, loads of trees and fields to walk through. The buzzards are amazing

Ian Wilton-Jones 19 January, 2010 @ 11:30

yes, there's some tastefully designed boardwalking and good quality wooden stairways with grip meshes on the surface but most of it is on well maintained gravel pathways. Delightful stroll by the babbling river or alternatively well above and overlooking the river gorge and the magnificent Ness Waterfall. Plenty of flora and fauna, even on this mild January day. The site also has the odd picnic table and resting bench. Currently(Jan 2009) the southernmost walk in the Eastern wood was closed off due to some slippage of the boarded walkways - I do so hope this gets fixed as the place is a real gem!! Well done NIEA. Unfortunately, although the complete site encompasses 3 wooded areas, it is only the Eastern one which is on the downloadable map. The Visitors Centre, which is in the middle wood, is therefore not marked. I hope the three woods together with the complete map (which is visible on the good quality signboards) is soon made downloadable so that not too many visitors get lost or find themselves inadvertently walking too far! Nevertheless, well done!

Richard Gosnold 21 November, 2007 @ 16:44

Lovely walk through the woods with a spectacular waterfall. Easy walking along well maintained wooden walkways.

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