Tollymore Forest Park – Mountain & Drinns Trail

(One review) on “Tollymore Forest Park – Mountain & Drinns Trail

A pleasant walk through both conifer and broadleaved woodland passing the Shimna River, duckponds and several points of historical interest. The Drinns Trail is an optional loop for those wishing to have a greater challenge.

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Tollymore Forest Park – Mountain & Drinns Trail



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  • Just home from walking this including the Drinns trail. Really nice walk, steep in places but good track/path with very clear way marker posts. Brought the dog and he loved it. He slept the whole way home in the car!!

    Beautiful views of the Mournes and spectacular areas of woodland to enjoy. The Drinns area has had some new planting recently with hundreds of little pine trees poking up amongst the recently harvested area.

    I followed the red trail at the start as suggested by another reviewer and joined the black trail at the boundary. This trail takes you along the river and provides a lovely backdrop to the walk.

    It would be nice if some benches were situated up in the Drinns area for taking a break and enjoying a bite to eat and a cuppa but I found a nice rocky outcrop to sit and enjoy a sandwich and coffee anyway.

    Flobang at 6:51 pm
  • County Down

    Distance 8.9 miles

    OS Map Sheet 29

    Terrain Forest paths, broken surfaces

    Nearest Town Newcastle

    Route Shape Circular

    Grid Reference J34471 32422

    Route Type Forest, Hill, Woodland

    The Mountain Trail –

    Passing through the Forest Plots, the Mountain Trail enters a beech woodland, which in the spring is covered in bluebells.

    The route runs parallel with the Shimna River before crossing it over the Boundary Bridge.

    The trail continues along one of the Shimna’s tributaries through mature conifer forest. Good views of Luke’s mountain can be had as the trail reaches the boundary wall before zigzagging back toward the Spinkwee River, crossing at the Hore’s bridge.

    For those seeking a longer walk – from the crossroads follow the optional Drinns Trail.

    (The Drinns are two distinct hills clearly seen from the main car park. The easterly Drinn is the highest point in the Forest Park at 255m. The Curraghard viewpoint offers a resting spot to view the expansive view of the Northern Mournes, Dundrum Bay, Newcastle and the Irish Sea)

    This Black Trail adds a further 2.9 miles by circumnavigating the Drinns running along the boundary wall and past conifer forest to Curraghhard viewpoint and back to the Mountain Trail.

    The second half of the Mountain Trail passes through conifer plantations at various stages of maturity before reaching the second crossing point of the Shimna River at the Ivy Bridge.

    The return route to the car park proceeds along the old river drive passing Foley’s bridge and the dramatic Shimna Gorge before returning up the Green Rig.

    Trail Features

    Steps, gullies, fences, streams, boulders

    Severe gradients

    Generally undefined edges

    Overhanging branches

    All types of terrain

    Some rest areas at irregular intervals

    Way-finding markers at trail junctions

    Distance ‘To Go’ markers at trail junctions

    These walks are situated in a working forest environment and may be subject to diversion and closure from time to time.

    Up to date information is available on the Forest Service web site

    Mature woodland, rivers, wildlife

    Signposted from Newcastle. Take the road for Bryansford and the entrance to Tollymore Forest Park is on the left.

    Car park (fee charged), toilets (disabled access), picnic areas, camping and caravaning, electronic ‘In-Touch’ information kiosk, Way-marked/ nature trails, guided tours available

    The following facilities are available for users with limited mobility:

    – Disabled toilets
    – Disabled parking

    Grade 5

    • There may not be a formalised path, and variable, single file trails are to be expected.
    • Gradients and cross slope could be expected to be steep and not limited.
    • Obstacles and surface breaks of greater than 75mm measured across the line of the path to be expected.
    • Overhanging branches are possible. Passing places and rest areas may not be formalised or provided.