The Trail Map:- OSI Map Series 16
Undoubtedly Ireland’s most distinctive mountain, Benbulben is sometimes referred to as Ireland’s own Table Mountain. The most distinctive peak among the Dartry range, it was formed during the ice age by massive glaciers segmenting the landscape.
Gortarowey is all weather in nature consisting of a hard surfaced finish and is suitable for all ages and abilities. The trail begins in a secluded forest area before opening out to provide genuinely stunning close up views of Benbulben head. Later in the walk panoramic views of Donegal Bay are also available with the mountains of Donegal including Slieve League highly prominent in addition to Mullaghmore and Classiebawn Castle.
Did you know?
Benbulben’s literary pedigree is arguably unrivalled in Ireland due to its links to W.B. Yeats, who is buried at Drumcliffe churchyard some 6km from the trail head of this walk. The steeper sides of Benbulben are formed from large amounts of Dartry limestone, with the smoother sides composed of shale. The unusual landscape houses an equally eclectic mix of flora and fauna, including Arctic alpine plants, wild hares, foxes and choughs.
*Sections of this route cross Coillte property, for up to date information on diversions/closures due to tree felling, please visit www.coillteoutdoors.ie
24 thoughts on “Benbulben Forest Walk”
Done this walk in November was lovely but just a word of caution that when on the last bit of the walk I didn’t loop back into the park & walked straight on down the lane & ended back up on the main road where I had to walk approx a mile on the main road & back up to the car park, a nightmare walk. Stupid I know but if there was a sign I didn’t see it! ???
Easy walk with panoramic views of coast and Benbulben. Definitely a highlight of a short-stay in Ireland. Despite the rain it, I really enjoyed this walk. Only criticism is that part of the walk is closed and I didn’t see any notices at the car-park so it added another 20mins on to the walk. Signage needs updated as a sentence at the end of the webpage isn’t enough.
Would this walk be suitable for someone with a buggy? Is the ground surfaced?
It’s a gravel path all the way Sarah, so may not be suitable for a small buggy.
So very nice! The view of Benbulben is stunning. You can also see the coast so well from there and so many places to take rest and have a bite to eat or a drink. Cannot recommend it enough
A lovely walk but needs improved car park and sign posting. It would be lovely too to see more native woodland planted instead of conifers,
to improve both the experience and bio-diversity.
Is closed the walk due the Covid -19 or it is working as normal?
Would like to know this information please
This walk is open as usual. But of course maintain social distance and avoid if the car park is busy.
Lovely walk really a beautiful place, only down side is the car park its not near big enough people park on the little approach road and it makes it very difficult to get up and down to the car park, it needs to be extended
Otherwise thank you for a great space
Weather is not too bad as we enjoy the walk and the beauty of Benbulben.
One thing we can suggest to place a sign when reaching the road..
If you continue on blue route you end up on a busy dangerous main road.
Yes that happened to me, was a nightmare walk on that main road & back to the car park.
Going here on 30 December! Just want to Compliment you on a Fantastic Website....very thoroughly Done! Thank You!
Going 30 December….but First wanted to thank you for the Fantastic Website!
Very helpful, and so well done!
Amazing walk with stunning views. If I was forced to pick one walk to do in Sligo, this would be it. (We did the slightly shorter cashel blue loop)
Beautiful walk with wonderous distractions and curiousities in the forest.
Absolutely breathtaking – Benbulbin up close and personal, forest trails, sheep and cows grazing, a round fort and stunning views of the countryside and coast. It’s got it all!
Very beautiful tame walk. We saw Crogh Patrick in the distance aswell as Sleive League. Worth the 40 minutes.
Lovely walk with great views. One small point, the turn off the N15 is approximately 2.2. km from Drumcliff – not 1.6 as stated
A walk to be highly recommended with exquisite views. Takes in mountains, sea views and wildlife. Take a snack, take a stroll and enjoy
Beautiful walk with amazing views
First time doing this walk today, first saw it on tracks and trails and thought it looked lovely. I was not disappointed it is a beautiful walk, stunning scenery, good track and the views of Benbulben spectacular and then when the walk loops around you get the added beauty of sea views. I was also impressed by the ring fort lovely place for a picnic. We went on a beautiful sunny day that added to the scenery. I would also like to say the walk is well sign posted. Will definitely return….
Great walk but there is a need for signposting when you come out to the road from the loop walk. Glad we met a local lady who was familiar with the area.
Touring the area and would like to thank you for highlighting this really excellent short walk (we did the red route about 5.5k)
The scenery was amazing, luckily we had a blue sky sunny day which makes all the difference.
Beautiful walk but could do with more signs because when you come out on the road there is no sign to say turn left we got lost and went all the way back on the same track
we really enjoyed it and for sure will be back