Glenariff Forest Park

Glenariff, the Queen of the Glens, is one of the nine Antrim Glens in Northern Ireland. Glenariff Forest Park covers over 1,000 hectares with planted woodland, lakes, outdoor recreation spaces and conservation areas.

 

Touring online booking

If you’d like to stay at Glenariff Forest Park in a touring vehicle such as a caravan, motorhome, campervan, folding caravan or trailer tent – you can book online or check availability and costs via the link below: 

There are no facilities for camping tents.

    Activities

    Glenariff Forest Park is open to the public and caters for many outdoor activities including walking, horse riding and touring. It has picnic and barbeque areas as well as a tea house.

    Special events can be arranged by permit. Guided walks for school groups may be booked, depending on availability of forest guides by contacting Forest Service at Garvagh Forest Office, booking hours Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm only.

    Find out more about facilities for people with disabilities:

    Entry charges apply:

    The forest is open daily for visitors on foot, 24 hours a day, but the car park gates are locked at night.  Gates open by 8.00 am daily and are locked at dusk.

    Touring vehicle site

    Glenariff Forest Park touring site is open from Friday 15 March until Sunday 29 September 2019.  Note that there are no facilities for tents. View the touring charges:

    This new site opened in 2016 and all caravan pitches are tarmac surfaced, with nearby grassed areas suitable for awnings. There are separate male and female showers and toilets, plus one fully accessible unisex shower room with toilet. A laundry room with washing and drying machines (tokens available from the duty forest ranger) is available between 9.00 am and 9.00 pm daily.

    Vehicle access into the site is through a locked barrier and pre-booked customers will have been given a PIN code to access the site during their stay.   Glenariff Forest Park does not have a full time staff presence and anyone arriving without pre-booking will be unable to access the site. 

    There are no shops within easy walking distance of Glenariff but for visitors with access to a vehicle, the villages of Waterfoot and Cargan are just a few miles away on either side of the forest park. Both villages have food stores, restaurants and bars.

    Other visitor attractions located not too far from Glenariff along the Causeway Coastal route include the Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge and a whiskey distillery in Bushmills. 

    Trails at Glenariff Forest Park

    Glenariff Forest is home to many animals of conservation concern, most notably the red squirrel, hen harrier and Irish hare. There are several walking trails through the forest which give spectacular views and glimpses of wildlife.

    Viewpoint trail (1 km)

    From the viewpoint on the trail you can look down the Glen to the sea in the distance. The walk then takes you past the café and back to the car park via the ornamental gardens.

    Waterfall walk trail (3 km)

     The Glenariff Waterfalls and boardwalk which winds through Glenariff Nature Reserve is a must do experience.  Access to the waterfalls is on foot only starting from the main car park in the forest park, or by parking in the restaurant car park at the bottom of the waterfalls beside the lodge. Be prepared for a steep climb, with steps.

    Scenic trail (8.9 km)

    The trail takes you down the Inver River gorge, nearly to the Ess-na-CrubWaterfall. Once you cross the river, you begin a long and winding climb from about 60 metres elevation to 260 metres over about 1.1km. Once you have done this climb there are good views over the Glen and across the sea as far as the Mull of Kintyre.

    Rainbow trail (0.6 km)

    This is an optional detour on the Waterfall walk and includes a river crossing at the Rainbow Bridge.

    Glenariff National Nature Reserve

    The rocky gorges of the river support a wide range of mosses, liverworts and ferns. Due to the richness and diversity of these plants, part of the Glenariff Glen has been designated as a National Nature Reserve. The timber walkway (boardwalk) that winds through the glen and alongside the river gorge was first built about 100 years ago and has been carefully reconstructed to provide a spectacular walk.

    How to get there

    You can enter the forest by car, on foot or by bicycle from the A43 Glenariff Road. Ulsterbus service number 150 operating to and from Ballymena (Monday to Saturday only) stops at the front entrance gate.

    Public vehicle access to the Glenariff Forest Park by the main entrance may occasionally be restricted because of forest operations work.

    Visitor safety and biosecurity

    Visitors should pay attention to health and safety signs which may be in place during forestry operations. Other signage has been provided about biosecurity measures which are needed to help prevent the spread of tree or plant disease.

    For more information on preventing the spread of tree disease, visit:

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