Ards Forest Park -  feel the wilderness

Be sure to get your hiking boots on to explore the expanse of the serene Ards Forest Park.

This rural haven of diverse woodland, flora and fauna stretches out over 480 hectares. Dotted with diverse habitats, the park runs along the sandy and rocky shores of Sheephaven Bay and is intersected with memorable walking trails.

This Special Area of Conservation truly is special. Whether visitors seek a Romantic backdrop for memorable walks or the headspace afforded by the serenity of nature, Ards Forest Park will provide fond memories of time well spent.

The forest park has children’s playground and a café in which to relax. It is dotted with picturesque picnic areas where you can enjoy an outdoors treat.

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The coniferous and deciduous woodlands are interspersed with salt water lakes, marshes, sand dunes, beaches and rock outcrops. Soak up the scenery and fresh Donegal sea air while walking by beauty spots including Isobella’s Bay, Binnagorm Point and Lucky shell beach.

The present Capuchin Friary at Ard Mhuire opened in 1966. The Friary now offers retreats, conferences, seminars, and periods of rest and relaxation.

There is a café where you can rest your legs after taking in some of the magnificent coastal walks. You can even pick up some local mementos of your visit from the gift shop.

Ards Forest Park - Yellow Trail Looped Trail - Length: 4km | Time: 1hr 30min - easy

This trail takes the walker on forest road through mixed age coniferous plantations past Rinnalack Hill and on to the shores of Lough Lilly. A small fen has developed here allowing white and yellow water lilies to flourish.

A visit to Ards Forest Park will reward everyone at any time of the year. The park covers approximately 480 hectares (1200 acres) and includes a variety of habitats, among them sand dunes, beaches, salt marshes, salt water lakes, rock face and, of course, coniferous and deciduous woodlands. With such a variety of landscapes, it is possible to spend many hours exploring this wonderful park. The sea is one of the real treasures of this forest park and there are several trails, the Binngorm trail, the Salt Marsh Trail and the Sand Dune Trail, which offer the hiker an opportunity to experience it in all its facets. There are a large number of trails in this park giving the walker the opportunity to explore a variety of habitats from foreshore and sand dunes to semi natural oak woodlands on rock outcrops. By “stitching together” a number of trails, it is possible to hike for 5/6 hours on forest tracks and trails, taking in the full circuit of the park.

Ards Forest Park,
Co. Donegal,


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