Glenariff Gorge Circular Walk

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3.1 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.
125 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Glenariff Gorge Circular Walk

The Glenariff Gorge Circular Walk is a lovely family-friendly adventure in the Antrim Coast and Glens AONB that will expose you to beautiful views of waterfalls and the surrounding forest landscape. While out on the trail, you will explore the peaceful woodland terrain within the park and visit a number of equally stunning waterfalls that add to the almost magical atmosphere of the forest. As it takes place largely within the cover of the trees, this is an exceptional walking route no matter the season or weather.

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Route Description for Glenariff Gorge Circular Walk

A wonderful walking route with beautiful scenery, there really isn’t anything bad that can be said about the Glenariff Gorge CIrcular Walk; however, the trail can become quite wet after a good rainfall, so you might want to wear water-resistant footwear. Additionally, the trails can be a bit busy during peak hours, so try to arrive early if you are after some peace and quiet along the trail.

With the exception of the trivial points above, this is an exceptional walking route that features gorgeous views and fairly flat terrain, making it perfect for a morning or afternoon of fun forest exploration with the entire family. Gushing waterfalls, beautiful mature trees, and all sorts of plant and animal life await on the Glenariff Gorge Circular Walk, so what are you waiting for!

Setting out from the car park, you will head to the northwest and enter into the dense cover of the forest, following the Waterfalls Trail as it gently descends the hillside and bends towards the east. After passing by a picnic area and briefly exiting the forest, you will find yourself back amongst the trees and taking in the stunning views of the Ess-na-Larach Waterfall. Take some time to admire the cascading water of the falls, before continuing to the east along the trail.

Once you have reached the Manor Lodge, turn to the south and cross over the bridge, where you will quickly arrive at the site of the Ess-na-Crub Waterfall. Keep on to the south and relax in the peaceful forest atmosphere, trying to spot the Irish Hares and Red Squirrels that populate the area as you work your way to the southernmost point of the route. From here, you will turn back to the north and climb gently up the hillside, eventually breaking out of the tree cover on the return back to the car park where you began the Glenariff Gorge Circular Walk.

Trail Highlights

Glenariff Forest

Managed by the Northern Ireland Forest Service, Glenariff Forest Park is a 2928 acre swathe of woodland terrain that can be found within County Antrim. Part of the Glenariff Glen has been designated a national nature reserve, thanks to the rich biodiversity of the plant life found here.

Featuring three stunning waterfalls, beautifully scenic riverside areas, peaceful forest trails, and a designated camping area, the park is a popular place for locals and tourists alike. In addition to its use as a recreation area, Glenariff Forest park is also utilized for timber production and is home to a variety of wildlife species, including Irish Hare, Hen Harrier, and Red Squirrel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Glenariff Forest Park?

Glenariff Forest Park is a 2928 acre stretch of woodland terrain that can be found in County Antrim.

Is Glenariff Forest Park free?

There is a fee to gain entry into Glenariff Forest Park. You can check the current prices here.

Is Glenariff Forest Park dog friendly?

Dogs are allowed at Glenariff Forest Park; however, some of the trails may be too narrow and difficult to traverse for some dogs.

Insider Hints for Glenariff Gorge Circular Walk

  • There is an entry fee of £5 per vehicle to enter Glenariff Forest Park.
  • Make sure to keep your dog on a lead.
  • Toilet facilities can be found near the visitor centre.
  • Wear comfortable footwear with good grip.

Getting to the Glenariff Gorge Circular Walk Trailhead

To reach the trailhead for the Glenariff Gorge Circular Walk from Waterfoot, head southwest on Glenariffe Road for 7.4 km and turn left. Continue on for 1.1 km to arrive at the car park.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground


  • When to do


  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type


Glenariff Gorge Circular Walk Elevation Graph

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Glenariff Gorge Circular Walk Reviews

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