Ballypatrick Forest is bisected by the main A2 road which is a popular tourist route between the Glens of Antrim and the Causeway Coast.
* Due to tree harvesting, the Forest Drive is currently closed to motor vehicles and open to pedestrians. Pedestrians can still use the way-marked trails and forest roads *
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.
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.
The entrance to the Forest is signposted from the A2 midway between Ballycastle and Cushendall.
028 2955 6000
Forest Service Northern Ireland
|This site is funded