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A rural journey across the Antrim Plateau to the North Channel.
• From the Ecos Centre building, cross over the footbridge, turn right and follow the traffic-free path to the roundabout on the Broughshane Road.
• At the roundabout, turn right and follow the designated cycle lane on the A42 into Broughshane.
• At Rathkeel Road (SlemishTavern) in the village, turn right and then 100m later take a left onto the Carnalbanagh Road, passing by Houston’s Mill.
• Continue for 1.5 miles (2km) and then take the first left onto the Buckna Road.
• About 2 miles later (3km) and just opposite Buckna Presbyterian Church in the village, is a signpost for Slemish Mountain. It will be an uphill climb of about one and a half miles (2.4km) to get to the car park at the foot of Slemish but is worth the effort. You can walk to the top of this landmark volcanic plug which is 437m above sea level. This section is not NCN signed, but it is signed for Slemish along The Cuttings, Carnalbanagh Road, Carnstroan Road and Carnstroan Lane so you can’t go wrong.
• Follow the same roads back down again to rejoin the Ecos Cycle Trail in Buckna and turn right.
• After about 400m, take the Kilnacolpagh Road on the right. Three miles (5km) later you meet cross roads - go straight ahead and 4 miles (7km) later turn left at the T-junction. Notice the beautiful patchwork of traditional stone walls that mark out fields in this area.
• About 2 miles (3km) later at the next T-junction, turn right onto the B97.
• From here it is a 3 mile (5km) downhill into Glenarm village with fantastic views overlooking the softly wooded Glenarm Glen.
• At the next T-junction turn right onto the Straidkilly Road and less than half a mile (1 km) later you meet Route 93 on the Antrim Coast Road and the village of Glenarm, passing the entrance into Glenarm Castle Walled Garden.
Public roads: On Public Road
Getting to the start: Ballymena is serviced by a rail link between Belfast and Londonderry which has facilities for carrying 4 bicycles except before 9:30 am Monday to Friday. For timetables visit: www.translink.co.uk or phone (028) 9066 6630. The Ecos Centre is clearly signposted from the railway station and from the M2 motorway for those travelling by car.
Traffic: Usually quiet with occasional slow-moving farm vehicles and delivery lorries.