Family walks are a great way to get out with the kids and there are many beautiful places to walk around Donegal from wooded trails to parks, so you are sure to find something to suit you. Take in the stunning views with any of these picturesque places for family walks in Donegal:
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Donegal is arguably one of the most scenic counties in the country, and there are certainly some stunning views to enjoy on any of these trails. From village walks to mountains and woodlands, there are plenty of options for family-friendly walks in Donegal.
Pack a picnic and get set for a great family adventure!
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Stunning Family Walks in Donegal
Ards Forest Park
Found on the sheltered western shore of Sheephaven Bay, Ards Forest Park offers a peaceful retreat for the whole family. This coastal park is an expanse of more than 480ha (1,200 acres), incorporating a sandy beach, sand dunes, salt marshes, salt water lakes, rocky shorelines and woodlands.
There are nine trails to choose from, ranging from 1km to 13km in length and with varying levels of difficulty. Work up an appetite by tackling one of these sign-posted trails in the park, and then head back to the sand dunes to find some picnic spots and a playground.
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Bonny Glen Wood
Located approx 11km northwest of Glenties, this wood is now managed by Coillte. The woodland is a beautiful and peaceful place where people can spend time walking the laid out paths or enjoying a picnic at one of the many picnic tables and benches scattered throughout the wood.
In the wood there are many different types of trees, the ground is covered with ivy, clover, heathers, furze, ferns and most specially, shamrocks. The wood also plays home to plenty of wildlife too, including red deer, hares, badgers and many varieties of butterfly.
There are three lakes within the wood – Lough Namanlagh, Bonnyglen Lough and Killyayenna Lough – and two signposted walks. The first is the shorter Namanlagh Lough Walk which is around 1km, and the second is Bonny Glen Loop walk which is approx 3km.
Ballykeeran Forest Trail
This trail is 1km from the village of Killmacrenan, along the N56 to Letterkenny. The signposted looped trail is approx 1.5km in length and offers both scenic views and diverse woodland to explore.
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Burtonport Old Railway Walk
There is lots to see on this 7km looped walk from Burtonport, including a woodland of ash trees, spectacular views, country lanes, historic buildings and a vast array of flora and fauna.
Fort Dunree is a coastal defence fortification located on the west side of the Inishowen peninsula, along the Wild Atlantic Way.
There are a series of signposted footpaths at Dunree Point, with amazing views out over the Atlantic Ocean – you may even get to see dolphins!
A circular walk taking in views of the Atlantic Ocean from Rougey and Bundoran. Start from Bundoran Tourist Office and follow the path along the promenade passing Waterworld and Bundoran’s Blue Flag Beach.
The walk continues on around the headland with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Bundoran’s Championship Golf Course on the other side. On reaching the far end of the walk follow the road back into town until you reach the junction with the main road.
At this point take a right and follow the path back along Bundoran’s Main Street towards the Tourist Office.
Glenevin Waterfall, Clonmany
This is a relatively short walk, approx 2kms (return) and is well signposted with gravel paths, picnic areas and a stunning waterfall.
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The most popular walk around the town is the Shore Path (Slí na Sláinte) which starts at The Green Moville, and extends as far as Greencastle. The path is not fully cemented all this way, but the section from the town centre to Lafferty’s Lane is suitable for pushchair users.
Ballymacool Park, Letterkenny
Ballymacool Park is a 20 acre public park located on the outskirts of Letterkenny. The park has picnic and park benches located throughout. Visitors walk on asphalt and water bound pathways which are bounded by kerbing. There is a toilet block located close to the children’s playground. Bring a ball, the children can play basketball or soccer in the enclosed hard court area.
Located on the banks of the River Finn adjacent to Stranorlar, this forest trail loops through woodland and back along the river bank. There are beautiful views to enjoy, as well as many species of trees, shrubs and wildlife. Keep an eye out for bluebells and wild garlic on Springtime walks.
The 2km walk has paths suitable for wheelchairs and buggies.
If your family is on the hunt for something more challenging, what about trying a day out to hike Errigal, the tallest peak of the Derryveagh Mountains?
As you climb, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Derryveagh Mountains and Donegal countryside, as well as views of the Islands and spectacular coastline.
This 2.5km path (one way) follows the shoreline of Lough Swilly between Buncrana and Stragill Strand and is a pleasant and easily accessible walk. The sea views across Lough Swilly are particularly impressive.
Don’t miss the panoramic scenic views of Mulroy Bay on this picturesque walking trail, just 5km from Milford.
There is an incline on this path that may make it unsuitable for younger children, but the views from the top are stunning. There are also picnic areas and a boat launch.
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Have you got a favourite place for family walks in Donegal? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!
Lead Image: Errigal © Tourism Ireland