Glenariff Forest Park Rainbow Trail

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1.9 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
82 m
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Glenariff Forest Park Rainbow Trail

The Glenariff Forest Park Rainbow Trail is a great family-friendly adventure in County Antrim, Northern Ireland that will take you through a lovely stretch of forest along the Glenariff River. While out on the trail, you will make your way through the serene forest and cross over the Rainbow Bridge, completing a quick loop through the tree cover before returning along the same path. This short route is usually tacked onto the Waterfalls Trail oto make for a longer and even more scenic adventure!

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Route Description for Glenariff Forest Park Rainbow Trail

Walking the Glenariff Forest Park Rainbow Trail is a quick, easy, and fun adventure through the woodlands; however, that is also its downfall, as the walk is over almost before it begins! That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but at least the route can be extended by continuing along the much longer Waterfalls Trail. Be sure to wear comfortable footwear for this adventure and arrive early to secure parking.

Although it may be short, this route is a laid back adventure that is suitable for all ages and skill levels. In addition to the well-maintained and easy to traverse paths, you will also be able to take in the natural beauty of the surrounding plant life, as well as the winding Glenariff River. While it won’t fill your entire day, you will certainly be able to relax and reconnect with nature while out on the Glenariff Forest Park Rainbow Trail.

Setting out from the car park, you will head to the northwest and enter into the dense cover of the forest, descending the hillside as you make your way closer to the banks of the Glenariff River. Reaching a junction, turn left and follow the trail until you come to the edge of the water, utilizing the Rainbow Bridge to cross over the river and continue along the trail.

Take some time to appreciate the natural beauty of the plant life here, as you pass by plentiful varieties of flowers, such as Wood Sorrel, Bluebells, and Lesser Celandine. Make your way around the brief loop portion of the trail and revel amongst the mature trees, as you head back towards the crossing over the Glenariff River. Once again you will utilize the Rainbow Bridge and arrive back at the junction. If you want to complete the longer Waterfalls Trail, keep left to continue making your way through the forest. If not, turn right and climb back up the forested hillside to return to the car park having completed the Glenariff Forest Park Rainbow Trail.

Trail Highlights

Glenariff Forest Park

Featuring 2928 acres of picturesque woodland terrain, Glenariff Forest Park can be found within the scenic County Antrim and is maintained by the Northern Ireland Forest Service. The area features a rich biodiversity of plant life, which has resulted in portions of the surrounding Glenariff Glen being designated as a national nature reserve.

Stunning viewpoints looking out onto waterfalls, beautifully scenic riverside areas, peaceful forest trails, and an excellent campground can be found in this amazing woodland park, making the area a popular place for visitors. While it is mostly known for recreation purposes, Glenariff Forest Park is also utilized for the production of wood products and is home to a variety of wildlife species, including the Irish Hare, Hen Harrier, and Red Squirrel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find Glenariff Forest Park?

Glenariff Forest Park can be found in County Antrim, just 22.5 km from Ballymena.

Are dogs allowed in Glenariff Forest Park?

Yes, dogs are permitted in Glenariff Forest Park; however, you may need to assist them in some narrow sections along the trail.

Insider Hints for Glenariff Forest Park Rainbow Trail

  • Extend this walk by tacking on the much longer Waterfalls or Scenic trails.
  • Keep an eye out for wildlife on this adventure.
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes.
  • Toilet facilities and a cafe can be found at the visitor centre.

Getting to the Glenariff Forest Park Rainbow Trail Trailhead

To reach the car park for the Glenariff Forest Park Rainbow Trail from nearby Waterfoot, make your way to the southwest along Glenariffe Road for 7.4 km and turn left. Continue along the road for 1.1 km to find the car park.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground


  • When to do


  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


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Glenariff Forest Park Rainbow Trail Elevation Graph

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