Glenariff Forest Park
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Glenariff, the Queen of the Glens, is one of the nine Antrim Glens in Northern Ireland.
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.
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.
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.
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. These include Rainbow Trail (0.6km), Scenic Trail (8.9km), Viewpoint Trail (1km) and Waterfall Walk Trail (3km).
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 09:00 to 16:00 only.
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.