A Breath of Fresh Air on the Sperrin Mountains
From the main spine of the Sperrin Mountains, a broad ridge of rolling upland stretches north all the way to the north coast, from the historic town of Dungiven all the way to Swans’ Bridge near Binevenagh. The Ulster Way section then continues further to Castlerock on the north coast. Along the way, the route enjoys fine views and a variety of walking, from open mountainside to forest trails and quiet roads.
You can step back in history and stand on the Hill of The O’Neill, one of the most important sites in the history of Ireland. A stronghold of noblemen, a place of authority and power. A region ruled for over 400 years by one of the most powerful dynasties in Ulster – The ONeill’s.
Gortin Park has a range of waymarked trails that give the visitor the chance to enjoy the Park’s natural flora and fauna at its best. All the trails are colour coded and return to the car park. People with mobility difficulties will love the five mile long drive with breathtaking views. Visitors can also mountain bike and horse ride in the area although a permit is required for horse riding. Orienteering trails can be devised to suit all ages and abilities. There are also camping and BBQ facilities on site.
A brand new play sculpture has also been recently installed. Inspired by its natural surroundings, the new wooden sculpture is sure to fascinate the kids with plenty of opportunities for exploration and play. Standing four metres tall, the carved sculpture is composed entirely of Larch, Red Cedar and Oak with the centrepiece, a family of Red Deer, chosen specifically to reflect the importance of the Forest Park’s relationship with its much-loved inhabitants.
Davagh Forest is located 12 miles from Cookstown in the heart of the Sperrin Mountains and offers a gentle walking trail as well as exciting cross-country mountain biking trails with a number of hair raising rock features thrown in for good measure.
Families and beginners can start off on Davagh’s gentle green mountain bike trail or enjoy the faster flowing blue trail which includes some more technical options for those with a bit more confidence. The red trail at Davagh Forest starts with a long steady climb before opening up fabulous views, exhilarating descents and some extreme slab features.