Roe Valley Country Park (overview)

Please do not do any of these walks in the present circumstances. Even if you are local to the walk and do not need to travel, many paths are too narrow to allow sufficient social distancing. Stay local on wide paths and roads you know. This is not a time for exploring!

See also Covid-19 – Stay at Home

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The designation ‘Country Park’ does this dramatic riverside no favours. It suggests an area of parkland or forest with a few pleasant wooded walks. Roe Valley Country Park is so much more than this and if explored properly is well worth travelling a distance for a ‘Grand Day Out’.

In just over 2 miles of river you have an impressive rocky gorge with spectacular viewing point; substantial sections of surviving native woodland; the remains of the stronghold of the O’Cahan Clan; clear industrial remains of water power and milling; a flax green with attendant guard tower; a building connected with the potato famine; and Northern Ireland’s first hydro-electric “Electric Light Station” (opened in 1896 and it supplied power to Limavady up until 1963). Despite the major section of pathway currently closed awaiting repair, the quality of walking is excellent whether you are looking for a short stroll or a day’s exploration.

Getting There

The Park is most easily accessed by car and there are four car park spread along its 2 mile length. However walking from Limavady, via the O’Cahan’s Rock car park entrance is definitely an option (1.5 miles), as is walking from the Roe Park Hotel (0.5 miles)  should you be staying there.

The Routes

The Dogleap visitor centre sits at the middle of a figure of eight of paths – 2 downstream either side of the river and 2 upstream likewise. Upstream and downstream option both make for a good walk with the option to doing both with a cafe stop in between in the Ritter Tearooms.

If your time is limited I have also included a much shorter walk looping around the centre itself easy level paths and then cutting downstream under the “Green Bridge” on a short but much rougher and steeper path which cuts though the rocky riverside.

The “hidden” and best path IMHO – downstream from the Dopleap Centre under the Green Bridge
A short, but varied walk around the Dogleap visitor centre0.5 miles / 0.8 km50 feet climb
Downstream to the domain of the O’Cahan6.3 miles / 10.1 km1250 feet climb
Upstream – races, weirs and water power (Long and moderate)3.7 miles / 6 km330 feet climb
Upstream – races, weirs and water power (Shorter and easier)2.4 miles / 3.8km140 feet climb

Route Map to Download and Print (PDF)

External links

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