Benbulben Forest Walk

  • Length: 5.5km
  • Ascent: 60m
  • Time: 1.5 Hours
  • Longitude: 54.362335
  • Latitude: -8.502346
  • Trailhead: Car parking, picnic area, information signage
  • Waymarking: Red
  • OSI Map Series: Series 16
  • Suggested Gear: Sturdy walking boots, trekking boots, snacks, liquids and mobile phone

Directions - How to get to the Trailhead.

Take the N15 road north of Sligo for 8km. Continue for1.6km after Drumcliff village. Take the right-hand turn signposted Barnaribbon up by a thatched cottage. Follow the road straight ahead, and keep left where the road veers right. This will bring you to a car park on your left under Benbulben.

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.

The Route
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


10 thoughts on “Benbulben Forest Walk

  1. 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!

  2. 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

  3. A walk to be highly recommended with exquisite views. Takes in mountains, sea views and wildlife. Take a snack, take a stroll and enjoy

  4. 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….

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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