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Croaghan Breen Forest Walk

Upland walking route, through Breen Forest and taking in the summit of Croaghan itself.

County

Antrim

Distance

6.5 miles

OS Map

Sheet 5

Nearest Town

Magherahoney Village

Route Shape

Circular

Route Type

Forest, Hill, Mountain, Woodland

Terrain

Open hillside and forest track

Grid Reference (Start)

D123293

Grid Reference (End)

D123293

Point of Interest

Panoramic views of Rathlin Island from Croaghan

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Antrim Coast & Glens

Route Description

This 5.5mile walk is the longer of the two walks that start and finish at Altarichard car park on the Altarichard Road; it is also known as the Breen Forest Walk (the other is known as The Milibern).

The Trail is located within the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. To follow this way marked trail, leave the car park and make a right turn. After a short distance you will see red and blue way marks on your left. Follow the red arrows for the Breen Forest Trail. These will lead you uphill to the summit of Croaghan from which there are outstanding panoramic views. Continue to follow the red arrows, which descend into Breen Forest, following the Moyle Way for a short section. The Trail then leaves Breen and crosses an area of upland heath before entering the final section at Altarichard Forest. On leaving the Forest make a right turn along Altarichard Road back to the car park.

Getting to the Start (by Public Transport)

Translink - journeyplanner.translink.co.uk

Getting to the Start (by Car)

Located at the Altarichard car park/viewing area on the Orra Scenic Drive between Magherahoney and Cushendall/Cushendun.

Dogs

Dogs are not allowed. May be livestock on open hill areas and walkers should be aware they may encounter game shooting in the Glenshesk Valley area which may disturb dogs.

Accessibility Grade

Grade 5

Facilities

Car park and viewing area.

Walk Location
Map of Northern Ireland
 
Image Gallery

Ratings and Comments

★★★★☆
Dee 7 October, 2018 @ 10:42

I wish I'd read Terrys comments on this page! Following the written directions takes you up Croaghan Hill on the first part of the walk, which is steep, uneven and boggy but well marked. Stick to the sheep trail & watch out for hidden hollows. Excellent views await at the top and Rathlin island is visible. The weather is changeable so come prepared.

Thankfully the path through the upturned forest had been helpfully marked by someone with white carrier bags tied to branches (thank you!). Again the terrain is difficult going through this stretch. At the bottom you arrive onto a gravelled track offering a welcome improvement underfoot, with an uninterrupted view of the forest and logging work in progress.

At the bottom of this stretch in error we turned left, an absence of red way markers, and wrongly believing we were on the other side of the trail, took a left turn and followed The Moyle Way for a considerable distance! This gave us the opportunity to visit the beautiful Breen Forest nature reserve and sit on one of the few benches (the only one we saw over a 10 mile stretch) available, for much needed refuelling. However, this took us some 2-3 miles off the red walk route.

We retraced our steps and eventually got on the right path at the point where we turned left instead of right. As described on Section 2 of the Moyle Way (Breen bridge to Orra Beg) there is a steady climb on forest paths where trees are being cleared then a twist over boggy ground to get onto the homeward stretch. Some beautiful red topped fairy mushrooms were carpeted beneath the trees. A magical end to a very long walk, but well worth the effort!

Note that at the end of the trail where it meets the road there is a metal gate with Moyle Way and Red/Blue route markers BUT this is as you exit and these are NOT visible form the roadside.

★★★☆☆
Terry 9 July, 2016 @ 16:50

Hmmm peat is tricky to wash off but I did it (trouser - free sample of stain remover). I note in 2012 it was said there were fallen trees it's like a jungle when you get there now (2016). You could break a leg or ankle so we gave up.

The path to Breen wood has been altered from the OSI map you turn right out of the car park and down the road. Cross further down and follow the posts up. I've put the new track on OpenStreet. The peat issue occurred in the tumbled down forest where the markings just stopped. Whether there was a way around pass on that. I don't think so, we looked. A chain saw and much work is required to get the track sorted out at that point.

Given that the issue could have continued for miles from that point we returned and did an internet search of how to remove peat stains from clothes !. My underpants the partner washed with their socks (their foot got submerged) which took on a very unfriendly look. Hoping for good news on them once they have been through the washing cycle again with tablets, extra water, wash plus. Now foaming very well.

It wasn't all bad we did see a Merlin and the views are good before you get to the forest.

★★★★★
Dawn Baird 26 May, 2012 @ 20:42

Brilliantly sign-posted, beautiful walk. The description is spot on. There are steep parts, but even those who're not particularly fit will be able to do it. It took us 3.5 hours.

It is pretty boggy too, even on a warm day. Wait for a few days of sunshine first, otherwise you will sink it.

Take good walking boots and plenty of water.

There are no picnic tables or toilets at the Altarichard car park, which is just a car park and no more.

Views from the windy summit are 360-degree gorgeousness.

You probably won't meet another soul all afternoon. :)

A perfect mixture of steep exercise at the start followed by a beautiful forest dander.

It's quite exposed for most of the way. Take a sweater/jacket and a hat.

★★★☆☆
Michael Conway 12 March, 2012 @ 21:44

The track is very easy to follow with great views from the start to the finish. Coming down from the top of Croaghan into Breen forest the track can get wet and boggy. Note that there is a number of fallen trees just as you enter the forest which has left it very difficult to get though. But if you can get pass it,it is well worth it.

Brian Carty 21 September, 2009 @ 15:33

Very easy to navigate as it is waymarked all along the route. Boggy on the hill side but what do you expect on the Antrim Hills! Make sure you are wearing waterproof boots and maybe gaiters.Views are excellent at certain points.Nice short little hike.

Shaun F McKittrick 31 March, 2009 @ 09:44

Easy to follow trail which is well marked. Some outstanding views along the way. Quite boggy / mucky in parts so well worth bringing good boots. We had no problems bringing our dogs with us on this walk.

Ann Connery 21 March, 2009 @ 16:07

Had a wonderful walk here yesterday but some difficulty on a forest road north of Croaghan as it was blocked by a large tree.

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