Ballypatrick Forest

Ballypatrick Forest

Ballypatrick Forest is bisected by the main A2 road which is a popular tourist route between the Glens of Antrim and the Causeway Coast.

This forest is near the intriguing Vanishing Lake, Loughareema. It gives access to a constantly changing series of woodland vistas and distant views as it leads the visitor through this extensive upland forest.

The woodland at the entrance is the oldest in the forest and was planted in 1948. Filtered views, through these older trees, reveal the upland sheep pastures around the headwaters of the Carey River.

Initially the drive winds its way upstream alongside the tributary Corratavey Burn to arrive at the unique Irish Ford. Through the archway is a picnic area.

Continuing uphill the open areas among the woodland begin to display characteristic upland vegetation dominated by heather. Openings have been deliberately created in the conifer woodland alongside the drive to facilitate planting more broadleaves which benefit from the shelter produced by the hardier spruce.

The drive then reaches its highest level (320 yards) with a number of vista car parks provided from which the visitor can enjoy the view towards the Causeway Coast.

Descending from the high level, the drive passes near the site of a 'Double Horned Cairn'. This interesting archaeological site is a form of grave dating back to 2,000 BC, containing two burial chambers. The common form of this structure found more frequently in Northern Ireland, consists of only one burial chamber.

The drive continues downhill to enter Glenmakeeran with its associated stream, which eventually flows into the Carey River. This sheltered area of the forest has been developed to provide a series of small car parks and picnic areas with views of Knocklayd Mountain. The woodland is predominantly made up of broadleaved trees including a flourishing eucalyptus, which is native of Australia.

As the drive turns towards the exit it passes an extensive area of open bog land which is still utilised for cutting turf to heat many local farm houses in winter.

The drive finally returns to the A2 half a mile north of the entrance.



Opening Hours

Open all year round. There may be restricted access to parts of the Forest occasionally due to forestry work. Please adhere to public safety advice on signage.



No charge


No charge

Getting There

The entrance to the Forest is signposted from the A2 midway between Ballycastle and Cushendall.

Walk Trails

Linear, 26 miles

Moyle Way. A 26 mile walk mostly off road through the glens of Antrim..


Be the first to comment on this venue. Complete the form below.


+44 (0) 28 7034 0848


Forest Service Northern Ireland
Cushendall Road

Image Gallery

Photo of Ballypatrick ForestPhoto of Ballypatrick ForestPhoto of Ballypatrick ForestPhoto of Ballypatrick ForestPhoto of Ballypatrick ForestPhoto of Ballypatrick Forest
This site is funded
courtesy of
Big Lottery Fund Ulster Garden Villages
Enjoyed this site? Why not check out...
Outdoor NIWalk NICycle NICanoe NIMTB NIDiscover Northern IrelandFacebookTwitter