WalkNI.com Your definitive guide to walking in Northern Ireland
Quality Walk

Carntogher Way - Slí an Chairn

This walk on the hills above the Glenshane Pass gives access to historic Carntogher Mountain with views across Lough Foyle to Errigal and Muckish in Donegal, Sawel and the high Sperrins, and south-east to The Mournes and Slieve Gullion. Mentioned in the early Iron Age tale Táin Bó Cuailgne, the area is rich in mythology and archaeological heritage and a number of monuments remain visible in the landscape.

Please note: The Seefinn Trail is currently closed to carry out maintenance and will reopen in Early 2019.




5.6 miles

OS Map

Sheet 8

Nearest Town

Maghera, County Derry

Route Shape


Route Type

Hill, Mountain, Riverside


Open hill, lanes and minor roads

Grid Reference (Start)


Grid Reference (End)


Point of Interest

Altkeeran, a hidden glen; the Emigrants Cairn: Shane's Leaps

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty


Route Description

The main looped Carntogher Way coded red starts on a quiet minor road and quickly uses a gravel path to climb the east side of Carntogher Mountain, leading in turn to a section of open grassy mountainside and heathery summit, before returning on gravel paths to the start point. Sections of this route can be boggy underfoot. Appropriate footwear is recommended. This route has a shorter alternative coded blue called the Skelp trail. There is an alternative lower level route coded yellow, the Seefin Trail*, which begins at the carpark and follows a stream through the Pollan Bog with boardwalk in the wetter places, and around Seefin Hill before returning along the same stream to the carpark (* the Seefin Trail is currently closed for maintenance works and will be reopened in early 2019).

Getting to the Start (by Public Transport)

Translink - journeyplanner.translink.co.uk

Getting to the Start (by Car)

Take the Tirkane Road C551 north west out of Maghera for 3 miles and park at the roadside carpark at the Cotter Row C819045 where you see the information sign for the mountain walks. This is the walk start point. Full details on brochure.


Dogs are not allowed.


There is a craft shop with post office, tourist information and coffee corner nearby at An Carn Centre C796061 with disabled carparking and toilets, which you pass on the Tirkane Road on the way to the walk start point.


Details of all local walks are included in the Carntogher History Trail guide and map including walking trail maps of Carntogher Mountain and Drumnaph Wood.

Publication Availability

Contact: An Carn Centre, tel: 048 79549978 or email: info@ancarn.org or on www.ancarn.org. Also available to download on this webpage.

Walk Location
Map of Northern Ireland
Image Gallery

Ratings and Comments

Brian Carter 8 May, 2018 @ 16:38

8 May 2018. Walked the Carntogher Way (Red Trail) in beautiful sunshine. Took 3 hours. Very well marked and in good condition.. Fabulous views. Well worth the effort.

Michael Holland 21 March, 2017 @ 11:25

We tried to walk the Seefin trail but could not complete it and had to turn back as the boardwalks were unstable. Needs repairs made and there seems to be work going on. March 2017

Mary Holland 21 March, 2017 @ 11:20

Walked this walk on St. Patricks Day. Still the sign of Beware of the Bull on gate. 17/03/17

Lisa Rubanowicz 18 July, 2016 @ 11:19

Really enjoyed our walk up the Carntogher Way. The scenery is beautiful and for a Saturday I couldn't believe we only met one person on the trail.

Only 5 minutes drive from Maghera.

Signposts were excellent for the routes.

Derek Flack 9 August, 2015 @ 18:02

Lovely, quiet part of the world with great views, flower-filled meadows and interesting antiquities. If you have gaiters, put them on as it's quite wet and boggy in places. I noticed a Beware of the Bull sign as I was exiting the field in question. I hadn't seen a bull. However, I did meet a couple of charming ponies. The walk is easily completed in three hours. If you set aside four hours, there are a few tracks that near the summit that could be worth exploring.

Noelleen 16 March, 2015 @ 10:33

Walked this with a group on Saturday but was disappointed that we could not do the full carntogher way as a sign for bull present has recently been erected on the 2nd gate/stile leading up to the Altkeeran River had to reroute and picked up the skelp trail further up the road which also leads to the Emigrants Cairn , apart from this had a good walk with fantastic scenary.

tom 10 October, 2014 @ 18:25

really nice walk around the hills, some awesome views of the surrounding countryside. When i did this walk id say about 30% of the walk was very wet, although with waterproof shoes / boots it wouldnt be a problem. Barely saw a soul all day, very nice place to go for some peace and quiet!! The walk was well waymarked and there are a few seats on the walk as well for you to stop with your flask!! Just make sure and go with waterproof footwear!!! The only wildlife i saw was woolly sheep.

Female runner 3 October, 2013 @ 08:02

Lovely run around the red and blue trails, great area, a true 'hidden gem' . However was met by a massive ginger bull complete with nose ring in the fields just before the blue loop hits the tarmac, I was terrified. For that reason alone I'll not be back. Real shame.

Ronnie Irvine 26 July, 2013 @ 13:00

A beautiful walk with stunning views on a clear day. Route can be varied to an extent.

Great possibilities for photography.

Especially in Autumn.

tyaslevesley 9 July, 2010 @ 23:59

Great family walk - walked on a very sunny June Saturday and saw no one esle all day!

Clare Wright 2 January, 2008 @ 11:56

What a fantastic walk, a hidden gem! We walked the Carntogher Way on a wet and foggy day in December. Despite the wet the walk was super, really well waymarked with lots to see along the way. The off-road sections were really wet underfoot but this didn't take away from our enjoyment.

Add Your Rating

Know a good walk that is not included on the site?

Suggest a Walk >