Donegal Walking

Bealach Na Gaeltachta
SeafieldBealach na Gaeltachta, Dún na nGall is a set of four long distance walking routes which have been developed as a National Waymarked Way by Donegal County Council and Údarás na Gaeltachta in association with Fáilte Ireland. These routes have been developed in the Donegal Gaeltacht and Islands. A total of 290km provides the walker with many opportunities to sample the unique landscape and heritage of the region. The four walks are: Slí an Earagail, Slí na Rossan, Slí na Finne & Slí Cholmcille.

Creevy Shore Walk
This purpose built shore path extends from Rossnowlagh, through Creevy and on to the mouth of the Erne Estuary at Ballyshannon. Walkers should note that fence crossings along the route are by stile rather than gates.

Slí an Earagail
Slí an Earagail is a section of the 280km Slí Dhún na nGall that covers a Gaeltacht area of west County Donegal: in Gaeltacht areas Gaelic is the primary language. The circular, relatively flat route is named after Errigal mountain (751m), which rises to the east and whose pyramidic, grey-streaked quartzite cone is a presence frequently visible along the route, even from the coastal stretches. It is a richly varied route through landscapes that represent the best in Donegal scenery, including a promenade through moorland just under Errigal, spectacular island-scattered Atlantic sea coast and stretches beside two beautiful lakes, Lough Nacung and Lough Dunlewy. The terrain consists of coastal paths (some rough), forestry tracks, bog roads and mainly quiet public roads. Total aggregate ascent over the entire route is 720m. There are plenty of accommodation options along the route, including the towns of Falcarragh, Derrybeg, Bunbeg and Gweedore, from which there is a 4.5 km connection to another of the Donegal walks, Sli na Rosann, by way of a link that is partly on a busy road. There are in addition two island ‘spurs’ that are well worth including – one on the rugged and rocky, legend-rich island of Tory, and the other on the tiny green island of Gola. Both islands are accessible by ferry during the summer months.

Ardnamona Woods
Ardnamona wood nature reserve is a native oak woodland, approximately 456.6 hectares in size which lies approx. 5km north east of Donegal Town.

The main path runs through the site and just inside the gate a newly constructed path veers off to the right, this path joins the main path in the middle of the wood which will bring you back to the main entrance.

The entire walk is approximately 2km fro start to finish. Parts of the path may be wet from time to time and is very steep in places. Not suitable for pushchairs/wheelchairs.

The site contains alder, oak, ash, rowan and birch in the high canopy and holly hazel and willow in the understory.

Bluestack Way

The Bluestack Way is a 65km route through a true wilderness area of County Donegal in the north west of Ireland with great views as it traverses the Bluestack Mountains, a range of low rounded hills. It connects Donegal town with the town of Ardara on the west coast. Along the way the route passes by scenic Lough Eske, and then wends its way across the foothills of the Bluestacks to reach an area called Disert, where there is an ancient mountain graveyard. West of Disert the route goes over rough and remote high moorland terrain between Binbane and Cloghmeen Hill before descending along the Owenroe river to reach a bog road. This is followed across isolated bogland at Meenawannia to reach Glenties. From Glenties an enjoyable stretch which includes a very pleasant riverside walk along the Owenea river takes the route to the town of Ardara. Overnight accommodation options in the populated areas are very good. The terrain of the route consists generally of bog roads, open and often wet moorland, and mainly quiet tarmac public roads. In wet or otherwise unsuitable weather it is possible to avoid the open moorland stretch west of Disert by taking an alternative route to Glenties. The aggregate ascent over the route is 1430m, but other than the stretch up onto the pass between Binbane and Cloghmeen Hill, there are no significant climbs.

Buncrana Coastal Walk
This path follows the shoreline of Lough Swilly between Buncrana and Stragill Strand and is a pleasant and easily accessible walk. The sea views across Lough Swilly are particularly impressive.

Glencolmcille Loop
The stretch of coastline between Slieve League and Slieve Tooey in southwest Donegal is a fine spot for walkers eager to breakaway from the trappings of modern living. The entire 35km coastline bristles with jagged rock pinnacles and soaring cliffs and, nestled in the midst of all this glorious scenery, is the village of Glencolmcille.

Wonderfully remote, Glencolmcille began as a settlement for Neolithic peoples, and the area is littered with Megalithic tombs, so insights into the country’s heritage are plentiful.

There are plenty of walks that start and finish at St Columba’s Church in the village, but two of the best are the Drum Loop and the shorter Tower Loop. Both take the same route, however, the Drum Loop takes a detour only to join the Tower Loop again at a later stage.

Lough Derg Walk
This walk is based on the route of a Pilgrimage path which has been in use since the 12th Century. Today the route, which is fully sign-posted, extends through an area being managed by Coillte, the Irish Forestry organisation. In addition its historical interest, the walk also offers exceptional lakeside views of Lough Derg and the surrounding countryside. A number of spurs allow access to view points and sites of historic interest.

The Big Ramble
The big ramble will take you through the stunning natural landscapes of Horn Head and Muckish Mountain. Saturday we will ramble to the top of Muckish to seek a real top of the world feeling! Dance the night away with a cracking ceilidh band.

Sunday we will ramble through a forest, nature reserve, sand dunes and the new lake to the most stunning beach in Ireland. You will see incredible views of Tory Ireland and the impressive geology of Mcswynees Gun. A weekend of walks that has something exciting for everyone and a barbeque to finish up the weekend.