Family Trail Events
National Trails Day is all about celebrating the wonderful variety of trails we all have available to us here in Northern Ireland and this year the entire country is literally bursting with free family-friendly events on offer.
Rather than be overwhelmed with the choice of family activities available this National Trails Day, we have broken the events down by county and listed some of the top picks below.
Adventure Family Forest Walk – Tollymore National Outdoor Centre
Rugged forest paths (wellies essential)... wild snacks (bravery essential)...and great wildlife (quietness helpful!!)… will all be part of this family adventure walk through Tollymore Forest Park. On this walk, your guide will share stories of the forest as you wade through streams and look out for the wide variety of Tollymore’s unique wildlife. This family adventure is the perfect way to discover the hidden secrets of Tollymore Forest Park!
Carnmoney Wild Side Walk & Family Fun Activities – Glengormley
Follow in the footsteps of Viking Raiders as this self-guided trail leads you on a voyage of woodland discovery, guaranteed to inspire and enthuse. Simply step out at your own pace and marvel at the Hill’s fantastic views, woodland and wild inhabitants as you walk. There’s plenty of wildlife to spot on your walk, including the long-eared owl and sparrowhawk. Buzzards can be seen soaring over the trees and the Irish hare is in residence up at the summit of the Hill. Back at the bottom of the Hill you can enjoy some free children’s arts and crafts and the chance to chat about your discoveries with the Woodland Trust and Newtownabbey Council staff.
Fun Guided Cycle Tour in the Woods – Cam Forest
This fun based cycling event is organised by the Forest Service Northern Ireland and leads through Cam Forest which overlooks the beautiful Roe Valley. This is not an energy demanding event and is intended for all ages and abilities who wish to enjoy a leisurely cycle around a woodland route whilst finding out information about how the forest is managed for timber and biodiversity. Participants must bring their own bicycles and safety helmets and children under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
Enjoy a wild day out in Gortin Glen Forest Park
Drop into Gortin Glen Forest Park between 2pm and 4pm to enjoy the new red squirrel trail, go nuts about all the autumn craft activities and take part in our ‘Build a Red Squirrel Badge’ competition! You can also speak to members of the West Tyrone Red Squirrel Group to find out what is happening to help the reds in the wider area. This event which also falls during Red Squirrel Week is completely free of charge and is a perfect day out for all the family.
Florence Court Scavenger Hunt & Guided Walk
Surrounded by lush parkland and thick woodland, with the imposing mass of Benaughlin rising in the background, Florence Court enjoys a majestic setting on the Fermanagh-Cavan border. Solve the clues along the trail on a Scavenger hunt that will take you to Florence Court’s hidden gems including a water-powered sawmill, ice house, and thatched summerhouse. As you follow the trail through the forest be sure to keep an eye out for the famous Florence Court Yew – reputedly the ‘parent’ of all Irish yew trees.
Family Eco-Trail Challenge – Lurgan Park
Want something different to do with the kids that’s fun, educational and most importantly free?! Then come down to Lurgan Park for an afternoon of exploration along the exciting interactive Eco-trail. In a team you must work together to navigate your way around the trail completing a fun activity sheet as you go. Find out if Dad has the best navigational skills, if mum is the smartest or if the kids really are the fastest as you solve the clues along this mysterious trail. Once you’ve completed the trail spend some time in the state of the art play park with slides, swings and water features. This is sure to be a fun family day out for all and entry to the park is free for all National Trails Day participants.
Normans, Trees and Dukes: Guided Family Walk – Belvoir Forest Park
Walk along woodland trails and listen to fascinating stories about the earliest locals of the Belvoir area. Did you know that this forest contains some of the oldest oak trees found anywhere in Ireland or that Norman knights once lived here? We'll also be meeting up with some colourful characters along the way who all have their own tales to tell!
See below for a full list of family events taking place on your local trails. Pre-registration is required for some National Trails Day events so make sure to book your free place now to avoid disappointment.