Are you ready to explore the fantastic trails that can be found in Mid Ulster - This is our ultimate guide!
Mid Ulster truly is a hidden gem when it comes to places to explore on foot! Whether you are a local looking for some inspiration for your next walk close to home or you are planning a visit to the area check out our top picks and ultimate guide to exploring this location below.
Not to be missed trails
Set in wild mountain scenery, Lough Fea is one of the many delightful lakes dotted throughout the Sperrins Region. Covering 180 acres this natural beauty spot is an anglers dream and also supplies the entire area and beyond with fresh water. The 2.5 mile walkway will take approximately 1 hour to explore as it circles Lough Fea. A mix of panoramic scenery and calming waters make this the ideal place for an idyllic walk. A Children’s play area and toilet facilities are provided on site. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a lead.
Drum Manor Forest Park
There are a number of different walking trails that can explored through this delightful forest park. The longest trail is the 2 mile circular Old Woodland Trail (Black Trail) which takes in the butterfly gardens and follows trails through the heart of the old woodland as it skirts the edge of the pond before rising through open parkland and returning to the car park. The 0.8 mile Terrace and Pleasure-grounds Trail (Red Trail) takes in the terrace the most important viewpoint within the old estate and the Pleasure-grounds designed to provide views of the ponds, trees and woodlands. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a lead.
Ballyronan Wood Walk
A short 0.5 mile circular walk through a small but beautiful 5 acre wet woodland on the shores of Lough Neagh. The area boasts a wealth of wildlife easily viewed from the woodland paths including a variety of swans, great crested grebes and tufted duck. The walk begins at the Marina car park heading in the direction of the carvan park at the north of site. The trail follows yellow waymarkers past a series of picnic areas. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a lead.
The true definition of a hidden gem, Davagh Forest lies approximately 6 miles north west of Cookstown in an untouched rural landscape of rolling hills and sweeping forests. Davagh Forest’s short 1.8 mile circular walk begins from the upper car park and follows the black waymarker arrows alongside Davagh Water. This pleasant riverside path meanders through lush green, almost fluorescent, woodland before crossing over Davagh Water and gradually ascending to meet the main forest road. Look out for the red tint of the river when crossing the newly constructed footbridge. The return leg of this walk uses the wide, surfaced forest road which leads down to meet the car park and back to the start of the trail. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a lead.
Dungannon park is a 70 acre oasis close to Dungannon town. The paths are surrounded by mature woodland, brightly coloured flowerbeds and pass a magnificent 13 acre freshwater lake. The high ground offers splendid views of the surrounding townland and countryside with views of Lough Neagh on a clear day. The trail is open all year round however please check opening hours before you visit. Car parking facilities are available. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a lead.
Long Distance Walks through Mid Ulster
International Appalachian Trail Ulster-Ireland and Ulster Way
Both the Ulster Way (Northern Ireland’s longest walking trail) and the International Appalachian Trail (a trail which starts at the Slieve League Cliffs in Donegal and travels east to Larne) pass through a short section of Mid Ulster between Moneyneany and Dungiven. One of our favourite sections of this trail is the 2.5 mile circular walk through Moydamlagh Forest following the Eagles Rock Trail. This trail lasting approximately 2 hours will lead you through conifer forest on a climb up the slopes of Mullaghmore to the stunning rock face of Craig-na-shoke. The effort is rewarded with extensive views out over the surrounding hills and countryside. The return journey starts by retracing your steps before the trail branches off to the right and returns to the car park.
The Sperrin Mountains, which stretch along the border of counties Tyrone and Derry-Londonderry, can best be described as wild, untouched and beautiful. Spanning 40 miles, the Sperrins mountain range is the largest in Ireland. Walkers can expect undulating hills covered in heather, quiet valleys, boggy uplands and a land teeming with wildlife. There are 10 summits above 500m with the highest of the range, Sawel Mountain, peaking at 678m (2,224ft). Discover more on the Sperrin Mountains Destination page on WalkNI.
Those visiting Mid Ulster can partake in the annual Sperrins Walking Festival which usually takes place in September and March. Join local guides on a journey through the heartland of Mid-Ulster following trails including – Glenaruddagh Mt, Davagh Forest, Moydamlaght Forest to Glenshane Pass over Mullaghmore, Moydamlaght Forest looped walk to Eagle’s Rock. More information can be found on the Walking Festivals section of WalkNI.
Dogs are allowed to explore the majority to trails in Mid Ulster providing they are on a lead and kept under control. Please ensure that you pick up any dog waste and dispose of this in the appropriate dog bins provided. If a bin is not provided please dispose of this waste at home.
In July 2022 Mid Ulster District Council in partnership with the Dog’s Trust and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, launched the ‘Walk this Way’ campaign to tackle dog foul at local beauty spot, Lough Fea. As part of the campaign, this popular dog walking route has had new maps installed to show where bins are places with clear signage to find them while also adding more bins to the route. It also features the length of the walk and directs walkers to the nearest bins to dispose of their dogs waste. The council hope to improve the green space of 12 new sites involved in the campaign.
Leave No Trace – Keep Trails Tidy
Mid Ulster District Council encourage you to practice the principles of Leave No Trace when out exploring this region on foot. If waste bins are full please bring your rubbish home and dispose of it there. The council is delighted to support those who wish to take part in trail clean ups across Mid Ulster. If you want to follow the great example set by the ‘Big Clean Up’ organised by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and organise a Big Spring Clean in your area, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03000 132 132.
Pick up a pre-post walk coffee
If like us, you eagerly anticipate a pre/post-walk coffee then look no further than the on-the-go hot beverages available from our sponsor Barista Bar. This means you can spend more time enjoying the fantastic walking trails Northern Ireland has to offer. Barista Bar is the biggest coffee brand in Northern Ireland and delivers the experience of convenient, top quality coffee and hot beverages for SPAR, EUROSPAR, VIVO and VIVOXTRA customers. The team have even created the ultimate walking playlist check it out on Spotify at https://spoti.fi/3LYBazk
Share your Mid Ulster walking adventures!
We always love to see your out and about on the trails pictures! We are interested to find out what trails you are exploring. Tag us on social media using #WalkNI #MidUlsterWalks.