Ballycastle Forest

Ballycastle forest, on the slopes of Knocklayd Mountainin, was first planted in 1931. Most of this early woodland has now been clear felled and replanted, producing a more diverse range of wildlife habitats and offering enhanced views over the surrounding countryside.


There are no facilities for recreational activities provided here but the public are welcome to visit this forest on foot.

To arrange a special event or activity in this forest, such as sporting events or educational visits, contact the recreation manager at Garvagh Forest Office.

Occasionally, there may be restricted access to parts of the forest due to forestry works so follow the advice on safety signage.

The forest is open daily from 8.00 am until sunset.

About this forest

The Moyle Way, forming part of the Ulster Way, leads walkers into the forest following the route of a former railway track. This sheltered path is locally known as The Glentaisie Trail.

The path climbs and turns past a stand of European larch, planted in 1936. Beyond this there are good views over Glentaisie and Ballycastle.

Turning uphill, the Moyle Way allows the top part of Ballycastle Forest to be reached. It is a steep climb but affords increasingly panoramic views of the coast to the north and Rathlin Island, and on a clear day the Scottish Islands of Islay and Jura are visible.

How to get there

The car park is signposted off the B15 road just south of Ballycastle. A pedestrian only access for the Moyle Way is signposted from the 'Diamond' just off the town centre.

Two entrances into the forest can be used; one is a few hundred yards from the Diamond in the town centre and the other is from the Forest Service car park about 1.8 miles along the Drumavoley Road. Visitors should look for the brown tourist information signposts when heading south out of Ballycastle.

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