New hilltop path to Belfast's highest hill
The Belfast Hills Partnership is encouraging walkers to head outdoors and try out a new hilltop path that has been created on the National Trust’s highest peak in Belfast.
The new £100,000 path will be known as the Divis summit trail.
Work on the “category five rough and mountainous” 800 metre path began in December.
Visitors who wish to get to the top of Divis Mountain usually walk the main access route through the National Trust property.
Now a new specifically designed loop walk has been created to take in the whole of the Tipperary Road meaning it can now be enjoyed by the 70,000 visitors who flock to Divis and Black Mountain each year.
Their efforts are rewarded with spectacular views over Belfast and every county in Ulster as well as parts of Scotland and England.
The project has seen collaboration between the Belfast Hills Partnership’s Heritage Lottery-funded Landscape Partnership Scheme, the National Trust and Outdoor Recreation NI and has been completed with the support of other funders including the Regional Development Programme, the Alpha Programme Ulster Garden Villages Limited and the NI Environment Agency.
With stone pitching as its main feature, the Divis summit trail is designed to maintain the condition of the mountain slope while providing public access.
The unique design of the path has been specially constructed with the aim of protecting the rich upland heath. Strategically-placed rocks also allow drainage that prevents the channelling of rainwater that would otherwise wash away the path.
David Scott, projects officer at the Belfast Hills Partnership who has overseen the build said:
“Divis Mountain is a must-see location for residents of Belfast and beyond.
“For years the site was inaccessible, but thanks to innovative design and construction techniques, we have created an excellent new walking path which provides users with a circular route that includes the Divis summit. We are delighted with the path and we hope it will bring lots of enjoyment and health benefits to the people of the city below and the wider population of Northern Ireland.”