One of the hidden gems of County Derry, the Country Park is a 25 min drive from Downhill and a favourite with locals of all ages. Beautiful woodland paths wind alongside the river bank crossing over and back via a series of bridges. My imagination just lights up when I walk here, but for us its always more of a wander than a walk because its one of our favourite places to to with our little boy who alternates between running around the bends and then stopping to tremble along a fallen tree trunk or explore a little cave or find rabbit trails down to the riverside.
There is a great picnic and BBQ area as well as a visitors centre with some wildlife educational stuff for kids. The toilets are kept pretty clean and stocked with the necessary toilet roll and soap. There is a good simple cafe which we tend to make use of at the end of a wander for a reviving cup of tea and ice cream. The history of the area and the buildings is fascinating and the stuff for another post, but for now here are some pictures of our route a recent rainy day to give a flavour of the nooks and crannies to explore:
There are so many little paths you can follow and because of the bridges you can adjust the length of your walk as needed. The ‘lower’ path was reopened last year, so now it is possible to do a ‘figure 8’ starting at either Roe Park Hotel, the Visitor’s Centre or the top end. There is also a fully accessible route starting at the Visitor’s Centre when our boy was a baby this was one of our first outings with him to bring the pram and walk along the paved path.