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10 loop walks in Donegal – where to go and what to see
Take in some outstanding natural scenery during one of the Donegal looped walks.
With remote mountain hikes and dramatic coastal strolls, get off the beaten track, take in some outstanding natural scenery and reconnect with nature in Donegal. If you're lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of one of the golden eagles.

Whether you prefer short strolls or energetic hikes, discover ten great looped walking trails.

1The Inishowen Head Loop

This route takes you to the most northerly tip of Ireland, where you can see Scotland on a clear day. The 8km Inishowen Head Loop starts at the old World War II lookout tower on Banba's Crown and takes in rough tracks through quiet bogland, winding back roads and a newly-developed coastal cliff path.

You'll pass the place from which St Columba set sail for Scotland in 563 to set up his abbey in Iona. Other notable landmarks include Stroove Lighthouse but the real attraction here is the amazing views you'll see along the way, making this one of the best walks in Donegal.

2Tory Island Loop

Tory Island is a mystical place a 45-minute ferry trip off the Donegal coast in the Atlantic. One of the most enchanting things about the island is the islanders themselves, who know how to extend the warmest of welcomes.

The 4km Tory Island Loop starts in West Town and brings you around the edges of the island, taking in some magnificent cliff scenery and ancient relics. It's also an important international bio-diversity area and a breeding site to the rare corncrake so you might even hear its distinctive call.

Tory Island Loop
3Errigal and Mackoght Loop Walk

If you're looking for something a little bit more challenging, this 6km loop walk takes in a trek to the peak of Donegal's iconic Errigal. The top of the mountain includes a narrow ridge between its two peaks that's not for the faint-hearted but you'll get incredible views of Dunlewey Lough (Lough Dunlewy), the Poisoned Glen and the nearby majestic mountains.

Mount Errigal reflecting onto a lake with the moon in the sky
Donegal's iconic Errigal Mountain.
4Kinballycrowie Loop

The enjoyable 7km long Kinballycrowie Loop in West Donegal starts out in Burtonport Harbour and takes in a reclaimed railway corridor that was once the main Burtonport to Derry line. Many of the original railway line features remain intact so you'll see stone pillars, gateposts and gatehouses dotted along the way. It's a peaceful walk down country lanes that anyone can enjoy.

5Glencolmcille Loop

This area's pilgrimage past is in evidence as you leave St. Columba's Church and cover the coastline between Slieve League (Sliabh Liag) to Slieve Tuaidh. From cross-inscribed pillars to megalithic tombs, the Glencolmcille Loop is dotted with historical and religious landmarks. Of course, the biggest attraction is the heavenly views of the soaring sea cliffs, making it a special place to visit.

Stone path along the edge of Sliabh League Cliffs, Co. Donegal
Explore the coastline of Slieve League (Sliabh Liag).
6Rougey Walk

Bundoran might be best known for surfing but the seaside town also has some great walking routes that show off its coastal charms. The Rougey Walk takes in gorgeous views of the dunes at Tullan Strand, Mullaghmore and even Slieve League on the other side of the bay. Get a photo at the distinctive rock bridges known locally as the Fairy Bridges and make a wish on the famous stone Wishing Chair.

The Rougey Walk
7The Garden Trail, Glenveagh National Park

This 1km long walk is a blissful stroll through the sumptuous gardens of Glenveagh National Park and the crushed gravel pathway makes this route accessible for everyone. The gardens of Glenveagh are a lush oasis of colour and vibrancy nestled in the wild and striking setting of rural Donegal. Stop by the café after your walk and enjoy a cup of tea on the patio while looking out at the incredible landscape. 

If this looped walk leaves you wanting more, there is a great selection of longer, linear walks in the park, choose from the 8km long Glen Walk, 3.5km Lakeside Walk and many more.

People walking in Glenveagh National Park, Donegal
Enjoy the wonderful walks in Glenveagh National Park.
8Inch Lake Wildfowl Loop Walk

Head to Lough Swilly and spend two hours walking the 8km long Inch Lake Wildfowl Loop Walk. Pick any of the three car parks as your starting point and make your way across the narrow walkway along the old railway line to Letterkenny, taking in the amazing landscape around you. 

The wildfowl reserve comes alive when thousands of beautiful swans, geese and ducks migrate through this region, filling the skies and waters with amazing colours and bird calls.

9Arranmore Way (Slí Árainn Mhór)

Enjoy an incredible day out on Arranmore along the Arranmore Way (Slí Árainn Mhór) and walk the 14km loop around this rugged island. Hop on a ferry from Burtonport on the mainland and sail past Rutland Island to get to Arranmore. 

The route sticks to paved roads throughout and takes in amazing seascapes, hidden beaches and a stroll out to Arranmore Lighthouse in the northwest corner. Return back on the ferry and stop by Harbour Front Café for a filling sandwich and thirst quenching refreshments.

Storm clouds beside the sea near Arranmore Lighthouse, Arranmore, Donegal
Walk to the outer edges of Arranmore in Donegal.
10Muckish Mountain Loop

The Muckish Mountain Loop is a gentle stroll through a beautiful, tranquil part of the Donegal countryside. Remaining almost flat throughout, the route takes just over two hours to complete and rewards you with wide open views of colourful bogland, powerful mountains and even sea views. 

Experienced walkers can add in a leg to the summit of Muckish Mountain on Miner’s Path or via Muckish Gap. After, grab a table at Ards Coffee Tree in nearby Creeslough.

Start planning your trip to Donegal now

Once you’ve ticked these ten walks off your list, there’s plenty more dramatic coastline, mystical mountains and spectacular walks in Donegal to discover. If you want to go off the beaten track, create your own walking trail in Donegal with local expert Seamus Doohan.

Head over to our Donegal destination page and discover more scenic treks and trails to tackle on your next visit to this picturesque place.

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