Ards Forest Park
A visit to Ards Forest Park will reward everyone at any time of the year. The park covers approximately 480 hectares (1200 acres) and includes a variety of habitats, among them sand dunes, beaches, salt marshes, salt water lakes, rock face and, of course, coniferous and deciduous woodlands. With such a variety of landscapes, it is possible to spend many hours exploring this wonderful park. The sea is one of the real treasures of this forest park and there are several trails, the Binngorm trail, the Salt Marsh Trail and the Sand Dune Trail, which offer the hiker an opportunity to experience it in all its facets. There are a large number of trails in this park giving the walker the opportunity to explore a variety of habitats from foreshore and sand dunes to semi natural oak woodlands on rock outcrops. By “stitching together” a number of trails, it is possible to hike for 5/6 hours on forest tracks and trails, taking in the full circuit of the park. The park is also home to a wide selection of animals and birds and the special hide at the end of the salt marsh trail allows the visitor to watch our winter visitors feed on the salt marsh. For those interested in human history, there are a number of historical and archaeological features. There are the remains of four ring forts together with a holy well and a mass rock.
Things to do
Walk: There are nine trails to choose from, including Salt Marsh Trail (0.5kms, multi access, 1hr). Sand Dune Trail (1.0km, multi access, 1.5hrs).Nature Trail (1.5kms, 1.0hr, easy) Red Trail (13.0kms, 4hrs, strenuous). Green Walk ( 3.5kms, 1.5hrs, easy) Yellow Walk (4.0kms, 1.5hrs, easy) Marine Trail (2.5kms, 1.0hr, easy) Heritage trail (5.0kms, 2.0hrs, moderate). Binngorm Trail (3.5kms, 2.0hrs, strenuous)
Play: Let the kids run free on a playground located on a sandy surface near the sea.
Explore nature: Visit the bird hide located on the Salt marsh trail and see the winter visitors,or follow the nature or heritage trail.
Visitors Facilities on site
Car parking (€5 fee in coins on entry).
Car park opens at 8am and 8am ( April to September) and 8am to 5.00pm (October to March)