Slieve Donard (via Glen River)

(14 reviews)

Slieve Donard at 850m (2,789 ft) is the highest of the Mourne Mtns. The views from the summit are extensive and on a clear day the Isle of Man, Wicklow, Donegal, Wales and Scotland may be seen, as well as the long stretch of Newcastle Beach.

Review This Walk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments will be reviewed and those that cause offence will be removed. This is at the discretion of WalkNI.

Report a Problem

We want everyone to be able to enjoy the walking routes listed on WalkNI safely and easily.

If you have come across any problems whilst walking a route, please let us so we can pass on any issues to the appropriate management body responsible for maintaining the walk.

Walk Route

Slieve Donard (via Glen River)

    Your contact details

    You don't need to give us all these details if you do not wish, but it is often helpful for route management bodies to be able to contact you if further information about the problem is required.

    Tick if you want to be kept informed of the outcome of the problem

  • Climbed Donard from Newcastle today. Tougher than we were expecting (6 hours from car park back to car park) but view from the top was superb.

    We just need to do Carrauntoohil now and then we have done all the highest mountains in UK and Ireland.

    Alan and Dawn at 9:19 am
  • Me likewise

    have done the 3 on mainland U.K. and Carrauntoohil in S Ireland. Now just need Slieve Donard under my belt to complete my challenge of one a year. Not all in one year !! 75 next year ! Then I can hang up my clogs. Tho maybe Croagh Patrick ?? Not on my knees …

    Anne Dungey at 9:17 am
  • Climbed to the summit for Adopt NI Charity on Sat 22nd Sept, we left car park at 3.45am and reached Slieve Donard peak at 6.55am to see the sunrise which was really special, well worth the effort in the dark and something different, will certainly do it again….

    Henry Gilmore at 9:16 am
  • 1 2 3 5

    County Down

    Distance 2.9 miles

    OS Map Sheet 29

    Terrain Mainly forest and mountain paths

    Nearest Town Newcastle

    Route Shape Linear

    Grid Reference J375305

    Route Type Forest, Mountain

    Route Description

    Leave the car park in Donard Park heading towards the mountain and follow the Glen River uphill through old woodland of Scots Pine, Oak and Birch. At the first of 3 bridges, cross to the opposite bank.

    Continue uphill through the forest, above a deep cut riverbed, for about 400m until another bridge is reached. The riverbank overhangs along this section so extra care is needed.

    At this point cross back to the left hand side and resume journey uphill through the trees.

    At the next bridge continue across the forest road and onto the rough track heading up towards the mountains, with thick forest on right (fenced), until a gate and stile is reached.

    Cross the stile and follow the track above the river for about 2kms, heading towards the saddle between Donard and Commedagh.

    At this point, the path crosses the river and continues uphill to the ‘Saddle’ where it meets the Mourne Wall.

    At the Mourne Wall turn left and follow the wall steeply uphill towards the summit.

    From the summit return by the same route, staying close to the wall until the Saddle is reached again. The cliffs on the north side of Donard known as Eagle Rocks should be avoided by walkers since the approaches are steep.

    Return to Donard Park following the line of the Glen River.

    Point of Interest

    Views from summit

    Getting to the start

    Follow the one way system to the south end of Newcastle main street. Donard Car Park has ample parking.

    Dog Policy

    Dogs must be kept on leads


    Toilets and parking in Donard Park. Refreshments in Newcastle.

    Accessibility Grade

    Grade 5

    • There may not be a formalised path, and variable, single file trails are to be expected.
    • Gradients and cross slope could be expected to be steep and not limited.
    • Obstacles and surface breaks of greater than 75mm measured across the line of the path to be expected.
    • Overhanging branches are possible. Passing places and rest areas may not be formalised or provided.