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Glenariff Forest Park Walks: 4 Trails To Tackle

Glenariff Forest Park Walks: 4 Trails To Tackle

Tackling one of the Glenariff Forest Park walks is a fine way to spend a morning!

A ‘hidden gem’, of sorts, along the Causeway Coastal Route, Glenariff is a 1185 hectare (2928 acre) park with several waterfalls and 4 main walking trails.

There’s a large car park, public toilets and a handy spot for a pre-or-post-ramble coffee. You’ll find everything you need-to-know below. Cheers!

Some quick need-to-knows before you visit Glenariff Forest Park

Glenariff Forest

Photos via Shutterstock


Perhaps less well-known than its other famous Causeway Coastal Route contemporaries, Glenariff (AKA ‘the Queen of the Glens’) is one of the Nine Glens of Antrim.

1. Location

You’ll find Glenariff Forest Park a handy a 20-minute drive from Ballymena, a 10-minute drive from Cushendall and a 20-minute drive from Cushendun.

2. Parking (2 very different options)

So, there’s the main car park (here on Maps) that is the starting point for the 4 Glenariff Forest Park walks. However, if you only want to see the waterfalls, you can park at nearby Laragh Lodge and take the 5-10-minute walk to Ess-Na-Grub waterfall.

3. Opening times

The park is open 24 hours a day, to those visiting on foot. The car park gates open at 08:00 and lock at dusk each night.


4. Coffee and toilets

If you fancy a bite to eat, the on-site Glenariff Forest Park Teahouse is a handy spot to nip into for a coffee or to avail of ‘the facilities’.

5. Camping

Yes, there is a Glenariff Forest Park camping service. Prices vary and you need to book online in advance, but this is a fine little spot for a unique night away. Info on booking here.

The different Glenariff Forest Park walks

A map of the different Glenariff walking trails

Map via (high resolution version)


There are a number of different Glenariff Forest Park walks that you can head off on, depending on how long you fancy strolling for.

Now, unfortunately, the person that created the map above didn’t realise how close the colours they chose for each trail is… which makes the map above hard to decipher.

However, when you get to Glenariff, you’ll find each trail clearly waymarked with arrows, so don’t worry!

The Scenic Trail (5.9 miles/9 km)

The longest of the trails is ‘The Scenic Trail’ which will take you between 1.5 to 2 hours.

This trail takes you down to the Inver River (listen out for Ess-na-Crub Waterfall before continuing over the river and uphill for around 1km.

From the elevated position, you’ll be treated to mighty views. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see Scotland’s Mull of Kintyre.


The Waterfall Walk (1.5 miles/2.5 km)

The Glenariff Waterfall Walk is arguably the parks most popular. It follows the now-iconic boardwalk through the nature reserve.

This is a well-marked out trail that’ll taken you into the river gorge via steep pathways that have been etched into Glenariff’s cliffs.

You’ll get a good eyeful of the Glenariff waterfalls before following a steep track back to the car park.


The Viewpoint Trail (0.6 miles/0.9 km)

One of the shorter trails, this walk takes 30-40 minutes and, although you are walking for long, you’ll be rewarded with glorious views.

Keep in mind that this trail doesn’t pass the waterfalls.


The Rainbow Trail (0.4 miles/0.6 km)

This trail takes a detour off of the Waterfall Walk and takes in Glenariff’s ‘Rainbow Bridge’. You’ll follow a trail along the Glenariff River.

This is a good option if you fancy a short stroll but want to see a chunk of the forest.


Things to do nearby

Causeway Coastal Route Drive

One of the beauties of a visit to the Glenariff waterfall is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best things to do in Antrim.

Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Glenariff Forest Park:


Frequently asked questions

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from what is the Glenariff Forest Park waterfall walkway like to how many Glenariff waterfalls are there.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

Is Glenariff Forest Park worth visiting?

Yes! The park here is gorgeous and the trails (especially the one up to see Glenariff waterfall) are some of the best in Northern Ireland).

When is Glenariff Forest Park open?

The park is open 24 hours a day, to those visiting on foot. The car park gates open at 08:00 and lock at dusk each night.

What’s the best of the Glenariff Forest Park walks?

The Scenic Trail is our favourite of the 4 Glenariff Forest Park walks. This is a 5.9 mile/9km walk that takes 2 – 3 hours to conquer.

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