14 Forest Walks Near Belfast: Your Next Adventure Awaits!

14 Forest Walks Near Belfast: Your Next Adventure Awaits!

forest walks near belfast
Local Forest Walks
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    The table above lists all the best forest walks near Belfast. Click on each name to be taken straight to the part of the blog post for that walk.

    Belfast is a beautiful place with many things to see and do. The best forest walks near Belfast are full of life and nature that’s so serene, you might forget the hustle and bustle of city life. There are plenty of paths for those who want to go on a leisurely stroll or for those who want to explore more, there are options for longer hikes too. You can explore the ancient Norman motte at Belvoir Park Forest, spot the wildfowl at Hillsborough Forest or see the views across County Down at Drumkeeragh Forest. No matter what you’re looking for, you’re sure to find a trail that’s perfect for you.

    The best forest walks near Belfast to check out

    In this blog post, we will be listing the many forest walks near the city of Belfast.

    Have a look below at the forest walks available on the interactive map and click on the buttons below the map for each walk, to be taken to the NIdirect pages for further information on the forest trails.

    Belvoir Park Forest

    Belvoir Park Forest is a place where you can explore nature and enjoy the sounds of animals in their natural habitats. There are plenty of historic sites to see, like the ancient Norman motte from over 800 years ago. The park is easily accessed and sits on the outskirts of the city.

    Tardree Forest

    Tardree Forest is a great place to explore with its internal roads and breathtaking views. Walkers can enjoy panoramic landscapes over County Antrim and Lough Neagh from this National Nature Reserve, which was created in an abandoned Rhyolite quarry on the edge of woodlands!

    Ballysallagh Forest

    Ballysallagh Forest within Cairn Wood is a place of mystery and intrigue, where you can find both coniferous trees that span the ages as well broadleaved woodlands with their changing seasons. Short drive outside the city for the trails here that can be easily accessed.

    Woodburn Forest

    This picturesque area of mainly coniferous woodlands beside the Woodburn reservoirs is open to public access. Walkers can enjoy a pleasant stroll along one of many gravel roads in this conservation landscape!

    Clandeboye Forest

    The Clandeboye Forest is a beautiful and diverse mixed coniferous-broadleaf wood that lies beside Helen's Tower. The way through this forest links with Leadmines Wood, making it an excellent destination for those who want some peace in their life off the beaten path!

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    Hillsborough Forest

    The large park once part of the Hillsborough Demesne is a mixed coniferous and broadleaved forest that features a tree-fringed lake. This provides an excellent habitat for wildfowl, which can be seen in abundance throughout the year as it's surrounded by such beautiful natural scenery!

    Mount Stewart Forest

    Mount Stewart Forest is a mix of coniferous and broadleaved trees, on the shores of Strangford Lough. The woods were once part Lord Londonderry's estate but now is owned by the National Trust.

    Muckamore Forest and Rea's Wood

    Muckamore Forest and Rea’s Wood is a small, protected area of willow scrub and alder trees on the shoreline near Lough Neagh. The Special Protection Area recognises its high biodiversity value as an essential primary wetland habitat for birds that nest or breed here.

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    Randalstown Forest

    Randalstown Forest is a 172 hectare wooded area located 18 miles from Belfast. The forest was taken over by the Forest Service from Shanes Castle Estate, which took the forest from an ancient fallow deer park with open land to a public space with a large range of trees that include Norway spruce, sitka spruce, European larch, oak and ash.

    Balleyboley Forest

    Ballyboley Forest is a popular spot for anglers looking to catch brown trout. It's also the perfect place to take in some fresh air and enjoy nature with a walk taking in the sounds of the forest and river whilst enjoying its natural beauty.

    Drumkeeragh Forest

    The Drumkeeragh Forest is a lush, green haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. From the trails that wind through its depths or offer expansive views across County Down, there are so many things to see here! The large 200 hectare forest has mixed coniferous trees and an elevation that will get the legs going!

    Bohill Forest

    Bohill Forest is a small, but picturesque coniferous wood that can be found near Drumaness on the main road to Newcastle. It's located around 22 miles outside of Belfast!

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    Capanagh Forest

    This small coniferous Capanagh Forest on the Mid Antrim Plateau near Larne is a hidden gem for nature lovers. There are no facilities here but you may visit for a hike on foot for a short stroll taking in nature!

    Castle Ward Forest

    This picturesque Castle Ward Forest is a great place to explore on foot or by bike. You can enjoy the beautiful views, fresh air and wildlife that thrive in this mixed coniferous-broadleaf habitat near Strangford village!

    Please note...

    All outdoor activities including forest walks involve a degree of risk. The walks are recommended due to the well known features of each forest but this may change over time and further research is required before undertaking any activity. The weather can also impact the surface and general conditions of each path so please keep yourself updated with the weather forecast before setting off to enjoy your walk!


    In this blog post, we have shared some of the woodland walks near Belfast. To find out more about things to do in the area, click on the button below:

    Belfast Blogs


    Free Things to do in Belfast


    Cycling Routes in Belfast


    Local Delicacies and Souvenirs from Belfast

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