Walks in Glenveagh

The free 'Trail Walker Bus' will take walkers from the park Visitor Centre/carpark on Easter Saturday, Sunday and Monday at 10:00 am and drop off at the Gartan start of the Lough Insagh Walk (see below). The bus then continues via Glendowan where walkers are dropped off at the 'head of the glen' to start the walk back to the Visitor Centre along the Glen (Bridle Path) Walk (see below). The trails require sturdy footwear and suitable outdoor clothes. The surface is mainly rough gravel with some loose stone and medium gradients. Please note that mobile phone coverage is not always reliable in these remote locations and walkers should always take care to let someone know where they are and when they are due to return. Emergency calls including mountain rescue should always be to 999 or 112. 


Lakeside Walk

Length: 3.5km
Time: 40mins
Terrain: A mostly flat gravel path

The lakeside offers the walker a fine introduction to walking in Glenveagh National Park. It brings the walker through the glen from the visitor centre to Glenveagh castle and gardens. The walk begins at the bus shelter from where there is a fine view of the Glenveagh Valley and continues along the shores of Lough Veagh. It is possible to walk one way and return by bus by obtaining a ticket at the castle reception. A guidebook for this walk is available from the visitor centre.


Derrylahan Trail

Length: 2km
Time: 45mins
Terrain: gravel track, both flat and steep in places

This attractive way marked walk near the Visitor Centre is an ideal introduction to Glenveagh’s natural environment. It offers visitors of all ages and fitness levels a chance to see some of the plants and animals of Glenveagh National Park. The trail passes through a number of habitats along the route. These include both native and planted woodlands, and a section of blanket bog. The trail also provides excellent views of the Glenveagh Valley. The name Derrylahan is derived from the Irish Doire Leathan, meaning broad oakwood because this area was originally covered in Oak Forest. The terrain involved includes both grassy and gravel paths and visitors should allow approx. 45 minutes to fully explore the trail. A guide to the Derrylahan Nature Trail is available from the Visitor Centre.


The Garden Trail

Length: 1km
Time: 1hr
Terrain: Gravel pathway

Following a well-marked route the trail offers visitors a full tour of the features of the gardens. Started around 1890 by Cornelia Adair and embellished in the 1960’s and 1970’s by Henry Mc Ilhenny the garden offers great contrast with the surrounding landscape. Features include an extensive collection of exotic trees and shrubs, an important collection of garden ornaments, a colourful walled garden and a number of locations where the visitor can relax and enjoy the natural environment. The castle and garden book gives a full account of the features encountered. The garden trail takes an hour to complete and is accessible to wheelchairs although steep in one or two places.


View Point Trail

Length: 1km
Time: 35 mins
Terrain: Steep stony path

The View Point Trail is perhaps the best short walk option in the Park. It leads to an ideal vantage point for enjoying views of the rugged scenery, with magnificent perspectives of the castle below, Lough Veagh and the surrounding landscapes. This circular 1.5Km trail starts and ends at the castle, taking the path, taking from 50-60 min at a leisurely pace. The surface is good at all stages and steep for short distances. Follow the direction of the road behind the castle, taking the path uphill just outside the garden gates. The route is signposted from here. From the top of the path returns via the lower garden, passing through a wooded gully and into the gardens where the trail returns to the castle.


Glen (Bridle Path) Walk

Length: 8km
Time: 2hrs
Terrain: A mostly flat dirt road rising gently over last 3km

This walk is a natural extension of the lakeside walk. It follows the shortest and most easily negotiated natural route through the Derryveagh Mountains. However, before the glen road was built, the route was so rocky and densely wooded as to be virtually impassable. Old settlements, now derelict, and native oak woodland can be seen along the walk which offers spectacular views of Lough Veagh and the surrounding mountains. A guidebook for this walk is available from the visitor centre.


Lough Inshagh Walk

Length: 7km
Time: 1hr 30mins
Terrain: Stony dirt track ending on a quiet tarred road

This pathway once connected Glenveagh Castle to the village of Church Hill. The carriages of the Lough Swilly Railway brought visitors to the railway station. From here they were transported to Glenveagh Castle over the Lough Inshagh Road by pony and trap. Today the Lough Inshagh Path remains silent except for the occasional red deer browsing on the roadside vegetation or walkers enjoying the solitude and scenery. It is an excellent walk to explore the eastern side of the Park and brings the walker to the Glebe Gallery and St Colmcille’s birthplace in Gartan.




Most of the Park is mountainous and is suitable for properly prepared hikers only. If you intend walking on the hills, please leave details of your planned route and expected time of return at the Visitor Centre.

Contact the park booking office for full information at glenveaghbookings@ahg.gov.ie or Tel. 0761002537


Please note: Dogs are permitted in the park but must be kept on a lead at all times. Dogs are not permitted entry to buildings, Castle Gardens & park buses. (Guide dogs are permitted in all areas)


Glenveagh Visitors Services are closed on Good Friday and over the Christmas period.

National Parks & Wildlife Service, 7 Ely Place, Dublin 2. Phone: +353 1 8882000 Fax: +353 1 8883272