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Quality Walk

Glenariff Forest Park, Scenic Trail

The Trail allows the more able person to enjoy walking through mature woodland, along the edges of steep sided river gorges with waterfalls and open moorland.




5.9 miles

OS Map

Sheet 9

Nearest Town


Route Shape


Route Type



Forest paths, steep in places

Grid Reference (Start)


Grid Reference (End)


Point of Interest

Views of Mull of Kintyre, waterfall

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Antrim Coast & Glens

Route Description


Part of the Scenic Walk in Glenariff is currently closed, due to felling works to remove trees that are infected with the disease Phytophthora Ramorum. Diversions are in place.  Please refer to the Forest Service NI link below for up-to-date information.



The route is sign posted from the car park and around the trail.

The trail first takes you down the Inver River gorge, nearly to the Ess-na-Crub Waterfall. This part of the trail is set in mature woodland with varied woodland flora including bluebells. Once you cross the river at the bottom of the trail, you begin a long and winding climb from about 60 metres elevation to 260 metres, over about 1.1km.

From the upper sections of the route there are views of the Glens and of the Mull of Kintyre across the sea. You ford the upper reaches of the Glenariff river at the top of the trail. At this point you are on peat moorland. Your way back gives spectacular views straight down the Glen to the coast and the sea beyond.

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 (by Public Transport)

Translink - journeyplanner.translink.co.uk

Getting to the Start (by Car)

Accessed via the A43 - Ballymena to Cushendall Road.

Accessibility Grade

Grade 5

Accessible Facilities

The following facilities are available for users with limited mobility:

Café (wheelchair accessible)
Shop (wheelchair accessible)
Visitors Centre
Disabled toilets


Car park (fee charged), Picnic areas, Café, Shop, Toilets (disabled access), Camping and Caravaning, Electronic 'In-Touch' Information Kiosk, Way-marked/nature trails, Lecture room/Classroom, Permanent Exhibition, Guided tours available



Publication Availability


Walk Location
Map of Northern Ireland
Image Gallery

Ratings and Comments

Ruth Miller 12 May, 2019 @ 19:57

My husband and I being elderly and quiet (no children, no dogs) and visiting at times when there are not so many folk about have often seen red squirrels.

Yes, of course the paths are steep. This is a dramatic glacial Glen and the more stunning for it !

Christine Smith 8 June, 2018 @ 20:55

Stunning and peaceful. Good for the would.

Keith Brighton 12 March, 2018 @ 16:18

12/03/2018 Walked north of the river only as unsure of the open/close of some trails.

Absolutely beautiful, but require better signage with regard to the open or closed trails. They seemed to be open.

Would appreciate updated info from Walk NI or Forestry?

Mario Arranz 13 March, 2016 @ 23:34

Amazing place! At the moment there are some works performed in the area but still all paths seem to be opened. Just be carefull. It's wonderful to see the beauty of this glen. totally recomendable!

Karl 7 September, 2014 @ 17:46

I walk this almost everyday with the dog, by far one of the most enjoyable walks around. It will be even better when the South side of the River Inver reopens, though I have been told that this will be some years yet.

Whitney R 31 March, 2014 @ 08:50

For those considering this walk, definitely wait until the Forest Service completely finishes their work and lists it as open on their website. At the moment, more than half of the trail--the half on the opposite side of the river from the carpark--is closed entirely. You can only do the small circuit on the carpark side of the glen. You can combine it with the 'down and back' trail marked for Ess-na-Crub waterfall, but at the moment the rest of the falls trail is also closed. Until all the paths reopen, a good alternative walk to Glenariff would be Banagher Forest walk (also on this site) in Dungiven.

Jackie kocaturk 30 March, 2014 @ 14:10

Location is wonderful. Walks are stunning but the forestry need to realise that people want to visit and walk in this area. Lots of maintenance required to allow the forest park to reach its true potential. It could be a world class tourist attraction.

deirdre adams 3 September, 2012 @ 12:01

really enjoyed this walk. It was a bit steep in places but we were well rewarded with the views especially of the Mull of Kintyre. Definitely would do it again perhaps going in the opposite direction this time!

Itchitoes 9 July, 2012 @ 10:42

A truly magnificent walk along a well-kept and beautifully routed trail with a wide variety of changing scenery and breathtaking views. The café doesn't look all that bad from the outside but it's a pity that all the interactive info panels in the exhibition centre are broken. Will certainly walk this trail again.

Dawn Baird 20 April, 2012 @ 21:20

This is a fabulously-maintained, stunning walk, starting at Laragh Lodge side with a very steep climb, for the first half hour and a straightforward ramble the rest of the way. It takes in mountain, river and sea views. One of the best walks I have tried. Take an extra jumper in your rucksack, as it can be very blowy and a little cold at the top. There are also multiple places to stop off and enjoy the view, including a covered bench half-way round. Avoid the forest cafe, and take your own picnic.

Mervyn 27 November, 2010 @ 22:43

Walked it many time's with my wife and children, no matter what the weather was. One time we walked it and it rained all day , but we still completed our walk. We got backto the car I got our wee stove out, done tomato soup first to warm us up, then I fried sausages for hotdogs. It's these little things in life you remember. One of the best day's ever.

Brendan Major 16 February, 2009 @ 16:11

We live locally and have been walking this circular route approximately once a month for the past 8 years, it never disappoints. The seasons and weather and time of day make a different walk each time you take it; on a wet spring evening the air in the gorge is almost thick with the scent of ferns and wild garlic, with a covering of snow animal footprints betray the amount of rarely seen wildlife in the park, and on a clear day summer or winter you can almost see into the living rooms of houses on the Mull of Kintyre.

I agree that the café by the main car-park is a bit of a sad affair but I can recommend the newly refurbished and friendly Larragh Lodge restaurant just at the foot of the Ess-na-Crub waterfall. Whether as reward for completion, or mid-walk break soup, wheaten bread and tea are very welcome.

mark 8 January, 2009 @ 16:31

Walked this trail at the start of November with a group of friends - what a fantastic walk! The scenery is absolutely stunning and the path surfaces are very well maintained by Forest Service. Waterfall walk is an added bonus. Surely one of the top forest walks in the Province!

claire connor 27 April, 2008 @ 09:50

Awesome walk!really well signposted with stunning views.Amenities fine,only criticism would be the unkempt restaurant(lets just say we were glad we had brought a pic-nic!)

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