Moneyneany to Dungiven
Distance 8.8 miles
OS Map 7, 8, 13
Terrain Rural roads
Nearest Town Moneyneany
Route Shape Linear
Grid Reference H751971
Route Type Forest, Hill
The route begins in Moneyneany, a tiny village nestled in the lee of the Sperrin Mountains. The original Irish name for the village is Mona na nIongnadh, which translates as ‘bog of the wonders’, a reference to the great feats of magic reputed to have been performed here by ancient Irish warriors. The walk climbs north across the northern extension of the Sperrins. Close to the top of the climb is a crumbling basalt escarpment on the right, a formation that marks the southern edge of the North Derry Plateau. The descent brings you down into the Roe Valley, which is renowned for its fishing and the River Roe is designated as an Area of Special Scientific Interest The walk finishes in Dungiven, an historic town that grew up around the site of an Augustinian Priory, founded by the O’Cahan Clan in 1100 AD. Please be aware that this walking route passes across open hillside that can be boggy under foot, and also briefly uses a main ‘A’ road. Care should be taken at all times. Please refer to the ‘Walk Safely’ information that can be found in the useful information section adjacent.
Moneyneany, Dungiven & Sperrins AONB
Moneyneany is situated on the B40 between Draperstown and Feeny. On street car parking is available in the village or there is a small car park further along the route in Moydamlaght Forest.
Moneyneany is poorly served by public transport. It would be advisable to take Ulsterbus services directly to Dungiven or Draperstown 3 miles away to the east.
For timetable information please consult Translink website http://www.translink.co.uk
Must be kept on a lead.
Refreshments are available at the start and finish of the route in Moneyneany and Dungiven. This section has no refreshment stops along the way.
Comments will be reviewed and those that cause offence will be removed. This is at the discretion of WalkNI.
We want everyone to be able to enjoy the walking routes listed on WalkNI safely and easily.
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Moneyneany to Dungiven
A morning climb up through forestry to the top of Eagle Rocks (Craig-na-shoke) followed by a walk across bogs. The pathless bog traverse is not very clear, a GPS track is advised. You cross a fence where something has been wrapped around the barbed wire to protect your underside. After the fence some kind person has placed yellow sticks in the ground to mark the route over peat channels. On entering the forest at a broken stile, a path takes you down to a small shrine and log seating. Then forest tracks, a path over sheep pasture and roads lead you to the shops, cafes, bars and accommodation of Dungiven.
One further note, the vector map on this page shows the route per the OSNI map, which I believe from the description and waymarkers as far as Craig na shoke is incorrect (waymarkers become very thin after the cliffs there). There is a similar issue with the OSNI map for the neighbouring central Sperrins section where Crockbrack is bypassed via roads, though the descriptionbpdf map and trail signage put the route over the mountain with great views.
This is a great walk, however the route page here is messy, I hope this and several other route pages with problems will be cleaned up soon, though I think a new site is due to be published as part of the S.I.A.T works.
On the route the river roe is followed from up near its source, N.I.’s highest pub on the Glenshane pass may be easily visited for lunch by leaving the forest. The mass rock site is very peaceful and secluded, and the walk to Dungiven gives views over Carn, Benbradagh and over to the Glenshane Pass with the traffic across the glen rumbling distantly.
PLEASE NOTE: Care needs to be taken on the section between the forests, which is walked as follows;
From Craig na shoke cliffs, contour uphill to reach a stoned track. When this track makes a sharp right uphill after a stretch of only about 50m, leave it by proceeding straight on, as if the stoned track has not turned. You will find yourself walking along a raised embankment or old grassy track with some rushes growing on top. You can see this feature on aerial imagery mapping. Follow this track, crossing a barbed wire fence. The raised track will continue, then turn right. As it then runs out, cross a ditch and step over the small fence heading for the forest, stepping over several further small fences en route. The section here can be wet with some peat hags. A compass bearing, or failing that, a phone map with aerial photo mapping is useful here. On reaching the Glenshane forest, search for the entry stile, this is on a forest corner about 150m right of where the pdf map indicates. Cross the stile, then descend a steep slope to the glen containing the mass rock. The rest of the directions below cover everything else easily from here.
Missing route description from 2019 site:
Continue through the village of Moneyneany passing the Primary School and Community Centre on your right (along the B40). Keep right at the fork in the road and continue along on the Moydamlaght Road to reach the entrance to Moydamalght Forest. A number of walking trails are waymarked within the forest so follow the Ulster Way waymarkers uphill and through the forest on forest roads to Craig-na-shoke. Cross the stile and continue left and then right along the bottom of the rock face. From here the route scrambles uphill, crossing a small fence, continuing up and around Craig-na-shoke (avoiding the actual rock face). The route travels first to the right and then left uphill where boggy ground stretches over the hillside, linking Moydamlaght and Glenshane Forests. Conditions can be very wet ground under foot, take care and avoid the bright green sphagnum areas, the depths of which can be deceptive.
A stile leads into Glenshane Forest where the ground is steep and a rocky path leads through the trees to the ‘mass rock’ used as a place of worship during the Penal times. The forest track leads downhill through the trees before waymarkers direct you to the track on the left. The trail continues downhill through the forest before reaching Glenshane Bridge. A right turn here will allow a detour off route to the Glenshane Road (A6) and the Ponderosa, Ireland’s highest Pub and shop for refreshments.
Turning left, the route leaves Glenshane Forest heading north to continue along a good grassy track contouring around Corick Mountain. At Corick Bridge the track joins the Corick Road. Follow this quiet country road crossing the River Roe at Cluntygeeragh Bridge and turn left at the junction. Corick Road leads onto the Birren Road uphill before reaching the busy A6 Belfast –Derry /Glenshane Road. Taking care to cross the road, turn left and follow the public footpath to Dungiven.
Link to pdf map: