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Embrace the Raw Power of Nature at Glenariff Waterfalls

After a powerful storm, we couldn't resist the call of Glenariff Waterfalls in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The water, normally serene and graceful, took on a fierce and untamed spirit. It's moments like these that remind us of the mesmerizing force of nature.

Our journey to Glenariff was a thrilling one. The raging waters created a symphony of sound, echoing through the forest. The air was charged with the scent of damp earth and exhilaration. The surrounding lush greenery seemed to come alive, vibrant and fresh. The mossy rocks and ancient trees that line the path to the falls were glistening with raindrops, giving the entire scene an ethereal quality.

We were in awe of the power of Glenariff Waterfalls, as the water cascaded down with unrelenting force. It's a testament to the beauty and resilience of Northern Ireland's natural wonders. As the storm clouds parted, the sunlight broke through, casting rainbows in the spray from the falls. It was a breathtaking sight, a reminder of the enchanting balance between chaos and serenity that Mother Nature provides.

About Glenariff Forest Park

Glenariff Forest Park is located in County Antrim, about 30 minutes drive from Ballymena. Part of the larger Glens of Antrim, it covers over 1,000 acres of natural woodland and contains three stunning waterfalls - Ess-na-Laragh, Dunmaul and Glenariff.

The forest is managed by the Forest Service and provides an abundance of scenic walking trails that allow you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of this ancient landscape. Lush ferns, lichens and mosses coat the ground and trees, fed by the constant moisture in the air from the tumbling waterfalls.

The most famous and impressive waterfall is Ess-na-Laragh, which plunges an astounding 120 feet into the rocky gorge below. Visitors can follow the marked trail from the main car park, crossing wooden bridges over the Glendun River on the way. The sound of rushing water echoes through the trees, building anticipation before you finally glimpse the powerful cascade.

For a different perspective, you can also view Ess-na-Laragh from above by taking the steep steps up to the viewing platform. From here, the true scale of the falls is apparent as the water plummets into the gorge, throwing up a fine misty spray.

The Three Waterfalls Walk

One of the best ways to experience Glenariff is to take the Three Waterfalls walk. This 2.5 mile loop trail leads you to all three of the main falls in Glenariff Forest Park.

Starting from the main car park, follow the Waterfall Trail signs uphill through towering beech trees and across rustic footbridges. Before long you'll hear the thunderous roar signaling that you've reached Ess-na-Laragh.

After admiring the dramatic cascade from below and above, retrace your steps a short way before branching right onto the Scenic Trail. Here the path meanders more gently through glades carpeted with bluebells in spring.

The sound of rushing water soon returns as you approach the second waterfall, Dunmaul. While smaller than Ess-na-Laragh, Dunmaul has a graceful beauty framed by verdant mosses and ferns.

The river winds on below the cliffs, leading you to the final stop on your waterfall quest - Glenariff. The trail descends steeply here down 100 steps to reach cavernous viewpoint. Though less powerful than the previous two, Glenariff is striking as the waters slice diagonally across the rock face.

After pausing to enjoy the tranquility, climb back up the steps to return to the start via the Forest Trail. This full loop allows you to appreciate the full diversity of landscapes and charming cascades that Glenariff Forest Park has to offer.

The raw power of the tumbling waters combined with the enveloping serenity of the forest creates an unforgettable experience. Just remember sturdy footwear for the trails and to keep dogs on a lead at all times.

Wildlife in Glenariff Forest

In addition to the enchanting waterfalls, Glenariff Forest Park is home to diverse wildlife and provides an important habitat for many species. The most iconic residents are the red squirrels that can be spotted darting through the tree canopy.

Birdlife in Glenariff is especially abundant, partly due to its designation as an ASSI (Area of Special Scientific Interest). Listen for the call of song thrushes, chaffinches and willow warblers as you explore. If you’re very lucky, you may even glimpse rare visitors like the goshawk and sparrowhawk.

It’s not just birds and squirrels who make Glenariff their home. The damp conditions mean the forest floor is teeming with frogs, newts and insects that draw in other predators like foxes, badgers and pine martens.

So remember to tread lightly and keep dogs under control and on lead so as not to disturb the wildlife as you explore this special habitat.

Where to Stay When Visiting Glenariff

Glenariff Forest Park makes for an ideal day trip from Belfast or the nearby coastal towns. However, if you have the time, consider spending a night or two nearby to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Glens of Antrim.

Just 10 minutes from the park, the charming village of Waterfoot provides cozy bed and breakfast options, like the family-run Meena House. Alternatively, splash out on a stay at Galgorm Resort & Spa where you can unwind after a day of waterfall adventures.

A bit further afield, but still within 30 minutes drive, is the lively town of Ballymena. Here you’ll find larger hotels like the Ballymena Manor Hotel along with plenty of restaurants and pubs to refuel in after your forest walks.

For true tranquility and a country setting, you can’t beat staying in a traditional Irish cottage. Check out the self-catering cottages available to rent in Cushendall or Glenarm. Wake up to sweeping valley views and the sounds of nature before heading off to Glenariff for the day.

Discover Untamed Beauty at Glenariff Forest Park

Glenariff Forest Park is a must-visit for any nature lover visiting Northern Ireland. Walking beneath the ancient trees, ferns and mosses with the sound of rushing water tumbling over the rocks creates a truly magical experience.

Don’t just take our word for it. Pick up the phone and dial 07732 961974 to speak to one of our friendly team. We’ll be delighted to help you discover this untamed beauty and create memories to last a lifetime whether you join one of our small group tours or book a private chauffeur service. A visit to Glenariff Waterfalls allows you to embrace the raw power of nature in one of Northern Ireland’s iconic landscapes.

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