Ballyroney Lake and Bog Walk

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The small hamlet of Ballyroney is located on the banks of the Upper River Bann between Dromara and Rathfriland, County Down. Patrick Bronte, father of the famous literary sisters, was born in the nearby townland of Imdel in 1777. The walk crosses Lackan Bog via – ‘The Green Road’ – an old bog rampart (a raised path across a bog) and asserted public footpath which runs for approx. 1 mile across the bog from Lackan Road to Dickson’s Hill Road/ Dodd’s Hill and provides great views over this bog habitat. The special and fragile nature of this habitat is reflected in its designation as an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI). Formerly a raised bog, but now completely cut over, Lackan Bog represents one of the largest single blocks of lowland peat left in County Down. It is one of the most important sites in Ireland for dragonflies. 13 out of 22 Irish species have been spotted in the bog. The best time to see them is between March and October. Please note sections of this walk at Annahinchigo Lake include open field used for grazing cattle.

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Walk Route

Ballyroney Lake and Bog Walk

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    County Down

    Distance 5.9 miles

    OS Map 29

    Terrain Rough lanes and road

    Nearest Town Ballyroney/Rathfriland

    Route Shape Circular

    Grid Reference J24432

    Route Type Hill, Lakeland

    Route Description

    From the parking place at the Lackan Road, follow the Crabtree Hill road uphill. A footpath sign on the left located beside a cottage will direct you down towards the lake. Continue until you reach the stile. Crossing over turn right and follow the field boundary towards Annahinchigo / Hunshigo Lake. Continuing you will reach another stile which leads past a cottage on the lake shore onto a short-enclosed section of path with a further two stiles to climb. The third stile will bring you into a large open field which runs down to the lakeshore. Near the lakeshore look out for another stile in the fence line to the right. If you come to the farmyard you have passed the stile and will need to retrace your steps. Pass through this stile which opens in a V – walking away from the lakeshore. Stay to the right as you pass through two open fields. Continue until you will reach a wooden field gate and stile leading into a bog rampart. Continue until this section of path meets a surfaced lane. Turn left here (away from the old house) and continue along the lane following the waymarkers, until you reach the Crabtree Rd. Take a left into the Crabtree Rd and continue to its junction with the Bannfield Rd. Take a right into Bannfield Rd and continue. This road climbs a hill before following the River Bann. Continue to its junction with the Dromara Road. Turn right into the Dromara Road and stay on this road through Ballyroney using the public footpath where available. Pass by Ballyroney Lake and take a right into the second road on the right, Dicksons Hill Rd. Continue along this road looking out for the finger post reading ‘Green Road Footpath’ pointing across an open field. Pass through the stile here and cross field to the next stile which leads onto the ‘Green Road’. Please keep to the waymarked path. The bog rampart can be very uneven and potholed with animal burrowing, watch your step! Follow the path to the Lackan Rd and on meeting this road turn left to return to the starting point.

    Point of Interest

    Green Road Footpath’ – lovely walk across Lackan Bog ASSI and views over Annahinchigo and Ballyroney Lakes.

    Getting to the start

    The village of Ballyroney is located between Rathfriland and Dromara off the B7. At Ballyroney take Lackan Road (signed for Castlewellan). Continue for approx. 1.5 miles to first X-roads (Lackan/Flush and Crabtree Roads). Park with consideration on grass verge at side of Lackan Road before X-roads. Coming from Ballyroney Crabtree Road is the road to the right (up the hill).

    Public transport

    Translink –


    Shops and facilities in Rathfriland approx. 1.5 mile to the SW. Small shop at Ballyward approx. 2.5 miles from parking place

    Surrounding area (not on walk route):

    Brontë Homeland
    You can easily follow the story of Patrick Brontë and his family through the buildings that survive within the Brontë Homeland. The Brontë Homeland Drive starts at Drumballyroney Church and School near Rathfriland, ten miles south of Banbridge. It is well signposted along the 10-mile route.
    Drumballyroney Church and School (Church Hill Road)
    Together Drumballyroney Church and School are known as the Brontë Interpretive Centre. The church were Patrick first preached and the school house where he taught have been restored and now include displays about the Brontë family.


    Church Hill Road, Drumballyroney, Rathfriland, Co. Down BT34 5PH

    T: 028 4062 3322
    Available for pre-booked groups only. For booking T: 4062 0232