Skip Navigation

Find the Trails

Also in this county

Glenveagh / Gartan Loop, Donegal

Badger Rating 3.4/5
Some great climbs and fast rough descents, with a mix of tarmac and rough tracks. The scenery is fantastic on this 25-30 mile loop.

Getting There

Start at Glenveagh or Gartan, or indeed anywhere along the way.  Glenveagh National Park is located 24km north-west of Letterkenny and can be reached via the villages of Kilmacrenan or Churchill. Access from Letterkenny is by the (N56) road through Kilmacrenan, turning left on to the Gweedore road (R255), or alternatively via Church Hill, and past Gartan and Akibbon lakes (R251).

Trail Description

Suggested Route from West of Glenveagh:

  • Start right up at the top of the Glenveagh Valley and take the track down to the castle (watch out for deer on the path!)
  • Stop off for a coffee in the coffee shop at the castle - superb
  • Take the road along the lake out towards the park entrance, then cut to the right, and take the track marked Lough Inshagh Walk
  • This takes you right over the mountain and down to Gartan Lough on a superb track descent
  • Head round to Glebe House and Gallery for another coffee if feeling peckish, or in the mood to view a period property in all its glory
  • Take the tiny road/track along the back of Gartan Lough, and back out to the road
  • Climb back up to where you started

The Glebe House and Gallery on the north shore of Gartan Lough is also a good option to park for this route (see map), as it gets the big climb over first, so that you have earned your coffee at Glenveagh. It also saves you abandoning your car halfway up the mountain.

Alternatively, park in Doochary (10km to the south west), and cycle up the valley, which will also warm the cockles by the time you get to the top.

Useful Maps & Links

Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSI) Map 6


trail head marker Trail Head

Your Photos


Movies of Glenveagh / Gartan Loop, Donegal


Reviews for this trail

Write A Review


0 5
1= Rubbish      5= Badgertastic!
  • started up on gledowan rd. down hill all the way to the castle, left 8 am in nov. leaving this early ment plenty of red deer despite thick fog. from castle long climb & good descent towards glebe gallery, most of route is on gravel/stone/tarmac. not a route for single track/technical riding, just an easy route. should think views would be great on a better day which would bring me back to it. took it easy, got a little lost around glebe area & clocked 30k/1hr.50min
  • Started from Glenveagh up Lough Inshagh on to top of valley and then back down valley to starting point.
    Biking down the valley gives a nice bit of downhill. The climb from the end of Gartan Lough to the top of the valley is a bit of a slog- not helped by the barren landscape!
    Bagged this at 32k using a GPS.
  • Started from Glebe Gallery and on to the Lough Inshagh path gentle rise up to the mountains good views everywhere , stunning in fact so bring your camera ! . Fast but rough decent to Glenveigh Castle road and the on to the Castle it's self , unfortunately the coffee shop was closed [ 0945 ] so I pressed on by the castle right up to the head of the lough a nice easy cycle then you start to climb up the valley where it gets steep in places [ wee gears here ] things I like about here is the total quiet only birds and water sounds to be heard. Met a lot of walkers on this stretch who were biker friendly also good to know if you do hurt yourself someone will come by - no signal on my mobile at all , reassuring . Turn left when you hit the wee road and head , mostly downhill back to the Glebe Gallery approx 10mls on the road buy traffic very light.
    Time 3.30 mins [ inc lunch ,smoke breaks and admiring the fantasic scenery !.
    Temp 25 - hot
    Will definitely do this again, thanks for the info about the trail.
    ps. Unless I missed something I clocked it 17m ?
  • Comments

NOTE: The trails on this site have been ridden before, but you should not interpret their inclusion as an indication that mountain-biking is officially sanctioned on them. Seeking permission from landowners is your own responsibility, as is conducting yourself in a manner that is courteous, respectful to the environment, and conscious of the safety of others.