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HIKING ROUTES


ON THE TRAI L


From coastal walks to mountain hikes, the best way to discover Donegal’s most scenic side is by foot


GLEN WALK, GLENVEAGH NATIONAL PARK


DISTANCE: 14 miles (7 miles each way) DIFFICULTY: Beginner Overlooked by the Derryveagh Mountains, this spectacular protected wilderness is every walker’s dream with its tumbling waterfalls and mossy woodlands that cast reflections in the shimmering Lough Veagh. From the visitor’s centre, follow a lakeside footpath to reach the turrets of Glenveagh Castle before joining a dirt track into rock-ruptured bogland enswathed in purple moor grass to the glen summit. Keep your eyes peeled for golden eagles and red deer, both elusive residents of the parkland. The return journey can be cut short by hopping on the shuttle bus between the castle and car park or extended by following signposts to an upper viewpoint. glenveaghnationalpark.ie


12 natgeotraveller.co.uk


INISHOWEN HEAD WALK DISTANCE: 5 miles DIFFICULTY: Intermediate Expect sweeping panoramas across Causeway Coast. A looped walk starts from its wartime watchtower and passes Stroove Beach where bathers are oſten sprinkled across velvet sands. Cutting inland, bog roads skirt the shoulder of the Crocknasmug mountains before returning via a cliff path to Portkill.


Gorse, Glenveagh National Park ABOVE: Hiking with a view of Mount Errigal; chowder at Nancy’s Barn


BLUESTACK WAY DISTANCE: 40 miles DIFFICULTY: Intermediate It takes several days to skirt the foothills of the Bluestack Mountains. Beginning in Donegal Town, a trail passes the bewildering beauty of Banagher Hill and Eglish Valley. Expect high moorland terrain between Binbane and Cloghmeen Hill then a stretch along the Owenroe riverbanks before reaching Ardara.


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