The park covers over 1000 acres of beautiful countryside of mature forests and woodland. This circular walk from the car park is on a flat path 7 feet plus wide.
Point of interest:Castlewellan Lake, The Peace Maze, The Grange, Annesley Gardens
OS map:Sheet 29
Terrain:Flat wide paths
Route:Trail Ranger Update: Please note, the car park in Castlewellan is currently closed due to recent snowfall. This trail is still open however walkers are asked to be vigilant of loose debris that may have blown onto the trails.
This starts at the Rangers' Hut and follows a route around the edge of the lake in a clockwise direction. There are steep slopes to the Lake and care must be exercised. At the end of the lake turn right over the bridge. Take care, at this stage the path consists of larger stones which can be tricky!
Shortly after is a 100 metre slope which may prove very difficult for pushers. However, there are seats both at the bottom and at the top of the incline; going down is gentler and longer. Further on the path levels out into a wooded area. Follow the path along the lake shore. A gravel path leads to a wooden gate (gap on left hand side). You join a tarmac path with views of the castle and park land, avoiding the narrower, busier lake path.
Continue on to a crossroads and information board where a signpost directs you left to Annesley Gardens. This is a gravel path which gradually leads to a (70m) fairly steep slope. This can be avoided by continuing on at the crossroads and turning left where this path meets the main entry road. This tarmac path is longer but a much gentler slope.
This walk is also suitable for people with limited mobility - please see link below to Shopmobility Belfast for more information.
Facilities:Disabled toilet, caravan and camp sites, mountain and water sports centre, fishing (permit required). Picnic and barbque areas.
Accessible toilet facilities:Yes
Accessible terrain:Yes - wide flat paths, compact quarry dust with only occasional shallow holes/ puddles
Getting to the start by public transport:Immediately north-west of Castlewellan. A broad street links the Park with the A25 which passes through the town. Follow the brown 'Forest Park' signs.