When it comes to hiking options, Ireland hits above its weight well. This country has 954 developed trails all over the place. From Belfast to the coast of Rock, you will not run out of options. Can’t decide where to start hiking in Ireland? Here are the best hiking spots in the country to narrow down your option.
1. Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail
Meaning “stairway to heaven”, Cuilcah Legnabrocky trail is the best place to go if you need an easy to the moderate track for hiking. This is one of the largest bogged areas in Northern Ireland and spread out up to 4.6 miles. Being publicly opened for the first time in 2015, Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail has attracted a lot of hikers. Here, you need to climb up a steep to take you to the summit of Cuilcagh Mountain with 2,185ft of height.
2. Ballycotton Cliff Walk, Cork
Ballycotton Cliff Walk is a great option to take especially if you are a beginner. Being extended up to 8 miles, this hiking trek starts from Ballycotton Village and ends in Ballyandreen Beach. Stepping to the hiking track, you will be amazed by the views of fresh green meadows on one side and the wild Atlantic Ocean on the other side. If you get tired, there will be a lot of seated viewpoints where you can rest while enjoying the beautiful scenery around the trek. Ballycotton Cliff Work in Cork is also a perfect place to go if you want to enjoy wildlife watching. Here, you can find a lot of amazing creatures such as dolphins, whales, oystercatchers, and Peregrine Falcons along the hiking trek.
3. Glenariff Forest Park Scenic Trail
If you are looking for a great place for a moderate level of hiking in Ireland, Glenariff Forest Park Scenic Trail in Co Antrim is one of the best options to take. The hiking trek is 6 miles long and starts/ ends at Glenariff Forest Park. Exploring the forest park will need you to go through in the mossy depths of a ravine with a beautiful waterfall to reach the Antrim Plateau. Climbing up to the edge of the plateau will allow you to see a wonderful view of the high landscape of the Glenariff Forest Park with the sea of Scotland as the background. You can even enjoy a more fun reward if you go hiking to the forest park during spring. The beautiful bluebells will bloom around the Inver River gorge and welcome you at the starting point of the hiking trek.
4. Divis and the Black Mountain Ridge Trail
Being located in Belfast, Divis and the Balck Mountain ridge trail is for moderate-level hikers. Standing on the 1,568ft of altitude, Divis is considered the highest point of Belfast Hills. This landscape situation will provide you with the most ideal vantage point to see the spectacular views of Belfast. This ridge trail comes with circular-walk slopes that will take you to the summit of Blak Mountain and the famous Bobby Stone. Take the globally well-known Harland and Wolffs cranes to see the breathtaking views of Stormont and Titanic Belfast. You can even see the entire Belfast from this high point when the weather is fine.
5. Carrauntoohil Hike
Carrauntoohil Hike is one of the hardest hiking treks with only a few places on earth such as Austin hiking that has an almost similar trail. With a trekking distance as long as 7.9 miles this hiking path starts and ends at the famous Cronin’s Yard. As the central park peak of MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, Carrauntoohil stands at 3.407ft and becomes the highest mountain range of Ireland. Reaching the top of the Carrauntoohil is not easy and it usually takes 5 to 6 hours. However, you will get your treat once you get to the peak. Here, you will see jaw-dropping views of Killarney Lakes. You will have several route options when hiking the Carrauntoohil trek with the Devil’s Ladder as the most popular one. This hiking route comes with loose rocks that are considered challenging for most hikers.
6. Slieve Gullion
Slieve Gullion is a perfect hiking trek to go if you also love to learn about the ancient history of Ireland. Ascending to the top of the Slieve Gullion Forest Park, you will find twin peaks, twin lakes, and a Neolithic passage grave. Not only that but this 8-mile trek will also offer you a moderate level of hiking with the spectacular views of Northern Ireland and the Republic. Exploring the heather-clocked hills of Slieve Gullion, you will also enjoy the great views of the famous Ring of Gullion. It is a volcano known to erupt for the last time more than 50 million years ago. Hiking through the trek of Slieve Gullion will allow you to get into the ancient tomb of the Neolithic South Cairn Passage Grave that you can access from beneath the summit.
7. Glendalough and the Spinc Cliffs
It is a hard hiking trek that spreads out as far as 8.5 miles. This Glendalough and the Spinc Cliffs trek both start and end at Glendalough Visitor Center. The hilly trail comes with a great view and it is also the home of mountainous paths and landscapes with 2,000 hectares of length.
8. The Causeway Coast
The Causeway Coast is another popular place for hiking in Ireland located in Co Antrim. This easy-level hiking trek starts from Giant’s Causeway and ends at Dunseverick Castle. The Causeway Coast has been known as one of the best coastal walks in Ireland with a trekking path as far as 4.5 miles. Getting to the end of the hiking trek, you will need to go through some popular tourist spots in Ireland including Portstewart, Ballycastle, and Dunluce Castle. The Causeway Coast is rich in history, mythology, and geological wonder. Though it is an easy trek, the rocky shoreline that you should pass makes the path a bit challenging.