Banagher Forest

(6 reviews)

Longer variation of the walk at Banagher Glen taking in the part of the largest piece of commercial forestry in County Derry.

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Banagher Forest

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  • My wife and I love this walk. We’ve completed the forest trail a few times now, the latest on Monday 12th Sept, and it never loses it’s appeal. From the car park up to Altnaheglish Dam it has adequate direction signage and a few benches to rest, if so desired. My only concern is that to carry on to complete the forest trail past the dam, there are no wayward markers whatsoever. there are a few junctions through the trail and unless you refer to a route description, you’ll be confused. A few markers along the way would make it easier for the first timer please.

    John McGonigle at 9:28 am
  • This is a fantastic walk with stunning views. Totally recommend bringing your camera and a packed lunch. Although there are no benches or designated spaces for picnics a tree stump can be used as an adequate substitute otherwise you’ll be hard pushed to find anywhere suitable. Two car parks available, second one closer to the starting point is much bigger. Unfortunately there are no waypoint markers and only one information board at the beginning of this walk so take a picture of this for reference. The gradient is mixed but not too strenuous, overall once you have completed you will be somewhat satisfied with your achievement

    Rhonda V at 10:00 pm
  • Loved it. Got a sunny day so the reservoir and surrounds was picture postcard perfect! I advise you to take a picture on the phone or camera shortly after you leave the carpark as there is a large map board of the trail there. On the trail above the reservoir there aren’t markers so at Dam wall, by the lake itself, take the Narrower lakeside trail rather Than the forest trail straight ahead. At the end of the lake take the trail to the right that wraps it’s way around the lake and not straight ahead. Just saying you do the homework, snapshot that large sign at the start and follow your nose. Great views behind you to the north and as you Climb high above the lake and then drop down into the parallel river valley on the Return to base. Great outing and wonderful feeling of remoteness.

    Dave Flanagan at 12:56 pm
  • County Londonderry

    Distance 8 miles

    OS Map Sheet 7&8 or Sperrins Activity Map

    Terrain Surfaced road & forest track

    Nearest Town Dungiven or Feeny

    Route Shape Circular

    Grid Reference C672048

    Route Type Forest

    Route Description

    Start from the first car park at the bottom of Banagher Glen, signposted from the B74 Dungiven to Feeny road. Turn left out of the car park, pass through the kissing gate and continue as the road climbs upwards through the ancient woodland of Banagher Glen. Continue to the fork in the road, taking the left fork signed for the dam and continue past an interpretive panel on a bridge. Legend has it that the large snake like monster known as Lig-na-Paiste escaped from St Patrick and hid in the gorge under the bridge where it still remains.

    The road climbs on steeply up the glen. Take great care on this section as there is a steep drop to the right hand side. Ignore all other tracks leading off until Altnaheglish Dam and reservoir come into view. Follow the rough gravel lane and turn right towards the entrance of Banagher Forest and follow the path along the edge of the reservoir for approx. 2 km. Take a sharp right turn to cross the Altnaheglish River and then another turn right. The path begins to climb through the trees before turning sharply to the left, right and then left again.

    The trail then summits the saddle of Altnaheglish Hill (360 metres) providing views of Sawel, Dart and Mullaghclogha and to Donegal in the distance to the west on the drop down the other side. Eventually the track comes to a T junction where you have two choices. Turn right to shorten your walk (green route) by taking the higher track that meets the Glenedra Burn further downstream at Ballydoonan Bridge.

    The second option of turning left will allow you to take a longer descent through the forest. After fording the Glenedra Water (or Crooked Burn) take the next right and follow the trail for 3.5 kms to reach Ballydoonan Bridge. From here follow the trail downhill for another 1.5km to return to the car park.

    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.

    Point of Interest

    Bangher Dam, views of the sperrins and birdlife

    Getting to the start

    Translink –

    Public transport

    Translink –


    Car park open seasonally at Magheramore Rd entrance.