Slieve Donard (via Glen River)
Slieve Donard at 850m (2,789 ft) is the highest of the Mourne Mtns. The views from the summit are extensive and on a clear day the Isle of Man, Wicklow, Donegal, Wales and Scotland may be seen, as well as the long stretch of Newcastle Beach.
Distance 2.9 miles
OS Map Sheet 29
Terrain Mainly forest and mountain paths
Nearest Town Newcastle
Route Shape Linear
Grid Reference J375305
Route Type Forest, Mountain
Leave the car park in Donard Park heading towards the mountain and follow the Glen River uphill through old woodland of Scots Pine, Oak and Birch. At the first of 3 bridges, cross to the opposite bank.
Continue uphill through the forest, above a deep cut riverbed, for about 400m until another bridge is reached. The riverbank overhangs along this section so extra care is needed.
At this point cross back to the left hand side and resume journey uphill through the trees.
At the next bridge continue across the forest road and onto the rough track heading up towards the mountains, with thick forest on right (fenced), until a gate and stile is reached.
Cross the stile and follow the track above the river for about 2kms, heading towards the saddle between Donard and Commedagh.
At this point, the path crosses the river and continues uphill to the ‘Saddle’ where it meets the Mourne Wall.
At the Mourne Wall turn left and follow the wall steeply uphill towards the summit.
From the summit return by the same route, staying close to the wall until the Saddle is reached again. The cliffs on the north side of Donard known as Eagle Rocks should be avoided by walkers since the approaches are steep.
Return to Donard Park following the line of the Glen River.
Views from summit
Follow the one way system to the south end of Newcastle main street. Donard Car Park has ample parking.
Dogs must be kept on leads
Toilets and parking in Donard Park. Refreshments in Newcastle.
- 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.
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Slieve Donard (via Glen River)
As mentioned by a previous reviewer, this was tougher than we expected but not helped by high (cold) winds and very thick low cloud- in June! Took us 5.5 hours up and down starting in the Donard car park. We didn’t think the start was particularly clear as there are no signs but a bit of common sense got us through the woods to the obvious path. That’s it, me and my daughter have done all 4 highest peaks in the UK.
im considering doing this walk this year 2021, its been nearly 40 years since i last went up( i used to be walking in the mountains ever other Sunday), problem is i am now 62 & suffer from arthritis, any advice is appreciated
Donard car park to the summit and back in four hours. Harder than what you might think, especially the section when you enter the The Mournes served by the National Trust (sign posted). Late August and the wind was blowing a very cold air. Dress sensibly and you’ll be rewarded with stunning views at the top on a clear day.