Downhill Forest

Downhill Forest is a small mixed woodland of 83 hectares inland from the north coast, near Castlerock.


There are two waymarked paths in the forest; one is just over half a mile long while the other is one mile long.

The Ulster Way also runs through part of the forest. Part of Downhill Forest is linked to the Sustans cycling network (Route 93), running from the Mussenden Road through mixed woodlands to Burrenmore Road.

The North West Orienteering Club have created a orienteering course in the forest.

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

There may be restrictions on access to parts of the forest from time to time due to forest operations. Pay attention to safety signage

About this forest

The forest was part of the estate of Frederick Harvey, the fourth Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry, which included Downhill Castle, now maintained by the National Trust.

The lake was originally designed as a fishpond; it is now a home to a number of mallard ducks that live on the pond. Both waymarked walks pass by this elongated pond.

A walk through Downhill Forest will allow you to view one of Northern Ireland's fattest sitka spruce (in 1962 the girth was about 20 feet), an early Christian promontory fort and an old water powered sawmill with its lead running round the small lake in the middle of this woodland.

The forest is open every day from 8.00 am until sunset for pedestrian and cycling access.

When parking, don't block the forest gates as lorries, emergency vehicles and other authorised vehicles require access to this entrance at all times.

How to get there

From Coleraine, take the A2 through Articlave. Downhill Forest is on the left after about one and a half miles.

From Limavady, take the A2 towards Castlerock, Downhill Forest is on the right about three and a half miles after Benone.

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