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Glenariff Forest Park to Cushendall

Wanderung · Moyle
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Macs Adventure Verifizierter Partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Forest trail.
    / Forest trail.
    Foto: Macs Adventure
  • / View down Glenariff.
    Foto: Macs Adventure
  • / Head of Glenariff.
    Foto: Macs Adventure
  • / Waterfalls on descent of Glenariff.
    Foto: Macs Adventure
  • / Glenarriff Forest.
    Foto: Macs Adventure
  • / Waymarkers.
    Foto: Macs Adventure
  • / Ruins of Red Bay Castle, Cushendall.
    Foto: Macs Adventure
  • / Mouth of the Glenariff River.
    Foto: Macs Adventure
  • / Glenariff riverside path.
    Foto: Macs Adventure
  • / Stile and waymarkers on the route.
    Foto: Macs Adventure
  • / Western side of Glenariff.
    Foto: Macs Adventure
m 300 200 100 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km

This is a scenic walk around the head of Glenariff passing several of its famous waterfalls. Descending the eastern side of the glen the route follows the Glenariff River down to the pleasant town of Cushendall.


15,1 km
4:00 h
151 hm
343 hm

Starting at the entrance to the Glenariff Forest Park the path climbs up to follow the scenic Waterfall Walkway. Leading around the head of the Glen and past some of the famous waterfalls the route then descends steeply to the valley floor. From here the path runs alongside the Glenariff River to finish in the centre of Cushendall.



This is a great little walk with splendid views down the spectacular Glenariff to the coast. There are plenty of waterfalls cascading down the side of the Antrim plateau so take time to enjoy the experience. The National Nature Reserve is home to the native red squirrel so keep a look out. User
Macs Adventure
Aktualisierung: 29.10.2019

Höchster Punkt
281 m
Tiefster Punkt
3 m
Beste Jahreszeit


The only parts of the walk today where you might encounter traffic are the road sections at the entrance to and leaving Glenariff Forest Park and arriving into Cushendallat the end. There is one steep descent down the side of Glenariff which might be tricky in wet weather. The stone steps in particular may be slippy so take extra care.


Weitere Infos und Links

The small town of Ballycastle has a number of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars where you can stock up with food and drink. There are also supermarkets, banks and cash machines, pharmacies and a tourist information centre at the harbour. Most of the amenities are actually in the town centre although there are a few in the harbour area. There is one opportunity for refreshments on today’s walk at Laragh Lodge as you leave the Forest Park, but opening times may vary. Apart from here there is nothing until arrival in Cushendall.


Points of Interest


Meaning the “valley of the ploughman”, it is sometimes called the Queen of the Glens. Shaped by glacial action during the last Ice Age, it is the largest and most visited of all the nine Glens.

Glenariff Forest Park

A beautiful scenic area with a unique three mile Waterfall Walkway opened almost 80 years ago. There is also a small visitor exhibition centre as well as a National Nature Reserve.

Red Bay Castle

Situated on a headland above Red Arch are the remains of Red Bay Castle, also known locally as McQuillan’s Fort. The McQuillans at one time held the power in parts of the Glens. The castle was destroyed during Oliver Cromwell’s military campaign in 1652.


A conservation town known locally as the “Capital of the Glens” situated at the foot of Lurigethan Mountain. The Curfew Tower is a prominent feature in the centre of the town built in 1817 by Francis Townly.



Entrance to Glenariff Forest Park (233 m)
55.018952, -6.123613
29U 683885 6100683


Bridge and Post Office, Cushendall


0.00 km - By the stone bridge at the entrance to Glenariff Forest Park and facing the sign for parking charges GO STRAIGHT ON  along the tarmac road on the left. In 25m BEAR RIGHT over a black and white crossing and follow the path up over another road crossing as it climbs up the hillside towards the trees for approx 1.5 kms.

1.60 km – At a track junction TURN RIGHT then in 50m BEAR LEFT onto the narrower of the two paths with the valley on the left.

2.40 km – At a signpost and track junction TURN RIGHT away from the waterfall. GO STRAIGHT ON along the narrower of the two paths with a stream to the left.

2.60 km – At the head of the glen, cross the first of three footbridges. GO STRAIGHT ON, along the path on the other side of the valley facing the sea in the distance.

3.40 km – Cross a stone bridge over a stream and GO STRAIGHT ON along the path with the trees on the right. Carry on around the zig-zag bends and down the steps, descending down the valley side for approx 2 kms.

5.30 km – At a track junction at the end of the scenic trail, TURN RIGHT onto the broad black gravel track.   GO STRAIGHT ON eventually descending down to the river.

6.30 km - At a metal gate across the track BEAR LEFT onto the path down to the river. Do not go through the gate. GO STRAIGHT ON with the river on the left and in 100 m cross the footbridge.

6.50 km – At an information board on the other side of the bridge, TURN RIGHT onto the smaller path, signposted the Moyle Way & Ulster Way. GO STRAIGHT ON over another footbridge, then BEAR RIGHT around the café.

6.60 km – Just past the café car park, GO STRAIGHT ON along the tarmac road following the Moyle Way & Ulster Way signs.

7.10 km – At the end of the road BEAR RIGHT downhill onto Glen Road, again following the waymarked signs. GO STRAIGHT ON along Glen Road for approx 2.5 kms.

9.60 km – Crossing a stone road bridge, TURN LEFT over a stile, again signposted the Moyle Way & Ulster Way. GO STRAIGHT ON along the track with a stream to the left, over the wooden stiles keeping the stream on the left.

10.0 km – Where the stream joins the Glenariff Rive,r GO STRAIGHT ON along the river side path for approx 1.5 km.

11.6 km – At a metal footbridge, GO STRAIGHT ON following the Ulster Way marker post. Do not cross the bridge. 

12.4 km – At the end of the riverside path, TURN LEFT through the wooden gate and GO STRAIGHT ON along the tarmac road.

12.6 km – At the end of the road TURN LEFT then in 100 m TURN RIGHT onto Glenariff Road, GO STRAIGHT ON along the road past the mouth of the Glenariff River and along the side of the shore.

13.1 km – Just before the signs for a sharp bend BEAR LEFT steeply up the smaller tarmac road. GO STRAIGHT ON at the stop sign for approx 1.5 kms, passing the castle ruins and caravan park on the right.

14.7 km – At a right hand bend in the road, GO STRAIGHT ON down the footpath and steps to a road junction.

15.0 km – Arriving at a stone bridge and the Post Office in Cushendall, you have reached the end of the walk.













alle Hinweise zu Schutzgebieten

Anreise mit der Bahn, dem Auto, zu Fuß oder mit dem Rad

Buchtipps für die Region

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Good boots or walking shoes are recommended as the terrain is variable on this walk. However the paths in the forest park are very good. Walking poles can be carried if you prefer as there is a fairly steep descent one section down the side of Glenariff .

Irish weather can be unpredictable and also wet so it is important to be prepared at all times. Waterproofs should be carried as well as a hat and gloves and maybe an extra layer just in case. In the summer sunscreen is also recommended and maybe insect repellent.


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15,1 km
151 hm
343 hm
aussichtsreich Einkehrmöglichkeit geologische Highlights botanische Highlights


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