Green is good for the eye – and a short hike in Glenariff Forest Park turned out to be good for the soul! It is an incredible place to hike in Northern Ireland if you are into gorgeous views, roaring waterfalls and green forests. And who isn’t?
Glenariff Forest Park – a pleasant surprise
If I tell you to close your eyes and imagine an Irish landscape, what do you see? I will have to admit that I imagined something with endless fields, green hills and of course plenty of sheep. Without exaggerating, I can say that this is the case many places in Ireland… But the Irish landscape is so much more than that!
We had asked our tour operator to allocate time for short hikes in the beautiful landscape of Northern Ireland. When our driver made a stop in Glenariff Forest Park, it turned out that we had quite the tour ahead of us. Within a very short distance, we were presented with both amazing views, lush forest, steep climbs and roaring waterfalls.
Waterfall Walk in Glenariff Forest Park
You have the choice between different hiking routes when entering Glenariff Forest Park. With 1,5 hours available at the park, we chose to hike the stunning Waterfall Walk with a length of about 3 kilometers. 3 kilometers in 1,5 hours might not sound like a lot, but we had to make plenty of stops to take photos.
The first part of our hike went through lush forest. Not only was it beautiful, but it was also very steep! We might have been a bit out of breath, but luckily, we were rewarded with the most incredible view on the top of the hill. This part of the park was full of life, with many families enjoying a picnic in the most gorgeous surroundings.
When having reached the top, you have to go back down again… We continued our hike, and we suddenly understood why this route was called “Waterfall Walk”. We could get actually get very close to stunning waterfalls, and the rest of the hike down to our starting point took place on a boardwalk along the river. A great way to enjoy the view all the way down!
Even though the hike was beautiful, the water in itself wasn’t that pretty to look at. It was actually rather brown. Maybe this is the place they get the water used in Guiness? It had almost the same color as the popular beer anyway 😉
Our hike ended where it began, where Bobby, our guide, waited for us. We could easily have spent much more time in Glenariff Forest Park, so it is a place to put on the bucket list, if we find ourselves in this area again.
Find your way
Glenariff Forest Park is rather large with multiple options for parking.
A popular place to park is at Glenariff Tea House, located right at the popular picnic spot with the great view. This means that you can drive here and enjoy the view without climbing steep hills. Look at the bottom left corner on the map below.
Our hike started at the Laragh Lodge Restaurant. Here there were fewer people, but also fewer parking spaces. On the other hand, there was easy access to both waterfalls and the boardwalk along the river.
Where you want to start your tour of Glenariff Forest Park is up to you. You can read more about the different hiking possibilities on Discover Northern Ireland’s website.
Visited in July 2017
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