Northern Ireland has so many beautiful areas of natural beauty that are ideal for all kinds of hikers, from novice to experienced, and from the young to the old.
Rachelle began walking as an alternative to the gym to help clear her mind from all the stresses of work and help her with her mental health, the outdoors was ideal for this!
Rachelle got interested in hiking when she started walking around her local parks, the fresh air gave her the peace of mind she was looking for, away from the hustle and bustle of the big city and work! It didn’t take long before she fell in love with walking and wanted to start hiking more challenging trails and has now built up her experience and knowledge in hiking by visiting some of the more advanced mountain trails of Northern Ireland.
Rachelle’s first hiking trail was the Cuilcagh Boardwalk in Fermanagh, also known as the Stairway to Heaven. She found it tough and was not prepared for the weather change. A steep climb has to be done on the Boardwalk to reach the viewing platform, but Rachelle said it was worth it since you are rewarded with stunning views of landscapes and scenery once you get to the top.
Having walked and climbed several trails, Rachelle recommends the Divis and Black Mountain for first-time hikers. It rests in the heart of the Belfast Hills, where one side offers 180-degree views of Belfast’s skyline. This Offers breathtaking viewpoints for Hikers, the walking trail offer’s a range of terrains for both novice and intermediate hikers.
It features stone tracks, a boardwalk, as well as road surfaces that are easy to hike. Aside from being close to Belfast and offering an easy climb, Divis and Black Mountain is a trek that’s sure to interest all kinds of hikers.
Rachelle’s top pick for the best trail in Northern Ireland is the Slieve Binnian in the Mournes. Slieve Binnian offers a circular route that traverses through the Annalong Forest, the Blue Lough, as well as the North and South Tors.
Rachelle says that this walking route was tough for her, but the stunning views over Silent Valley were well worth the climb.
@rachelle_606 #mournemountains #northernireland #ireland #slievebinnian #weebinnian #hikingni ♬ Follow The Sun – Xavier Rudd
These tips are for new hikers who plan to start walking the scenic trails of Northern Ireland.
She has based these tips on her own experience, as well as on the lessons she’s learned from her mistakes along the way:
1. Decide on a route and check the weather.
2. Pack for any weather change, and don’t forget to bring water and snacks.
3. Download a tracking app to stay on route.
The apps are also a great tool to help her review the walks.
4. Make sure your phone has a full charge and tell family, colleagues, or friends where you’re going.
5. Wear appropriate footwear such as hiking boots or shoes.
Local hikers like Rachelle not only have the experience and knowledge of the many trails and routes of Northern Ireland, but they have a passion and love for the great outdoors they call home.
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