Donegal Hiking Experience

The lovely area of Ulster is home to Ireland’s most northern county, the beautiful county of Donegal. Located between River Foyle and Donegal Bay, this county is home to long sandy beaches as well as rough mountain ridges, rich in history from early ages until modern times, which offer fantastic hiking tours through this almost untouched Irish wilderness that makes up the Donegal hiking experience.

Sliabh League, Donegal Hiking Experience, Walking Holiday Ireland
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Looped Hikes in County Donegal

Looped walking tours are a great option if you are travelling by car. Just park at the starting point and return. Lengths and difficulties may vary between short and easy afternoon hikes up to multi-day walking tours of great difficulty.

Some areas of interest in the Donegal hiking experience.

Inishowen Head Walk

At a distance of 5 miles, this looped hike, starting at Portkill’s wartime watchtower, the Inishowen Head Walk, is perfect for a single-day adventure. Passing by lovely Stroove Beach with lovely sand, leading up inland to return to Portkill with the view of Crocknasmug mountains and finally a narrow and exciting cliff path down to the starting point.

Ards Trail

Ards Forest Park 05
Ards Forest park, Donegal, Ireland

Ards Trail is the longest path in the area, and it offers much more than beautiful views and stunning scenery. Along the 11.11 kilometres, you find massive rock formations, a holy swell, standing rocks, and two giant stone wheels that might have been used to ground flax in ancient times. With oak, silver fir, beech, Scotts pine, Lawson cypress, and many more species along the trail, it’s pure joy for every tree-lover.

Leghowney Loop Walks

Several beautiful walks on a newly developed path network start at the Leghowney Community Centre, which offers space for approximately 200 cars. After a first quite steep climb, the trails lead smoothly along the hillside with stunning views of the most popular Donegal landmarks. Enjoy the natural beauty of Donegal Bay, Bluestack Mountains, Lough Eske, and Ben Bulben, to name but a few. Leghowney Loop Walks are perfect for day trips and short walks. There is a suitable trail for everyone.

Teelin Circular Walk

The Teelin Circular Walk is the perfect opportunity to get great views over Donegal Bay. It leads on top of up to 300 metres high cliffs. Listen to the ocean roaming deep down while resting your eyes on the infinity of the Atlantic Ocean. Towards the end, the trail passes several majestic waterfalls. Optionally, you can ascend the Summit Sleeve on the way back to Teelin. Be aware that in bad weather, especially under foggy conditions, this trail is quite dangerous. You don’t want to lose the trail next to steep cliffs!

Glencolmcille Tower Loop

Glencolmcille Folk Village, Donegal Hiking Experience, Walking Holiday Ireland
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The Glencolmcille Tower Loops offer something for everyone. It’s especially suitable for a family hike or day trip. Along the trail, one of the best hiking trails in Ireland, you will find breathtaking views over Donegal Bay, with the ocean in the back, as well as the Irish wilderness. The highlight of this loop is the ancient watchtower that rests on top of imposing cliffs. Kids who are into medieval times, especially knights and princesses, will enjoy spending time there and thinking of the knights keeping watch over the bay to protect their homeland from any invaders. With an overall length of about 10 kilometres, this tour is just suitable for a family day trip.

Multi-day adventures, such as hiking from point A to point B, are a great way for any nature lover to enjoy their holidays. The wilderness of Donegal County offers amazing scenery for such activities. Pack your bag and get started on one of Ireland’s loveliest trails!

The Blue Stack Way

Starting at Donegal town, this beautiful trail leads along the foothills of the Bluestack Mountains for about 40 miles (63 km) through mild hill terrain. Along the trail, enjoy the pure wilderness of Banagher Hill and English Valley. After crossing high moorland terrain between Brisbane and Cloghmeen Hill, you will hike along the Owenroe Riverbanks to reach your final destination at Ardara.

The Blue Stack Route Map

The Blue Stack Route Map, A Donegal Hiking Adventure, Donegal, Ireland
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Looped walks in Glenveagh National Park

The International Appalachian Trail, from Bunglas to Glenties

This hiking trail marks the first part of the International Appalachian Trail, which starts in West Donegal and finishes in Antrim, Northern Ireland. Starting at Bunglas Point, this tricky trail leads along the soaring Sliabh Liag cliffs towards the crescent beach at Malin Beg and the impressive megaliths of Malinmore. The pretty Gaeltacht hamlet at Glencolmcille makes a great resting point. The finish of this 42-mile trail lies 7.5 miles away in the Glenties, set against a superb mountain backdrop.

Sliabh League, Bunglass cliffs, Donegal Hiking Experience
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Lough Veagh Trail to Glenveagh Castle

A short but beautiful trail connects the shores of Lough Vaegh and Glenveagh Castle with its beautiful walled gardens. It leads over a distance of about 6 kilometres and passes a beautiful lake within fantastic scenery. Nature lovers and bird watchers especially admire this trail for its untouched nature.

Whether you prefer a single day walk or a multi-day trekking experience, you will definitely find what you are looking for at Donegal County. Pack your bags and get out there to new adventures! Donegal County is waiting for you.

Cliff Wayenberg – Walking Holiday Ireland

Please get in touch with us here at Walking Holiday Ireland about your next walking holiday and why you should consider the Donegal hiking experience.

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