Barnavave Loop

PLEASE NOTE that due to forestry operations taking place in Slieve Foye Woods, parts of this trail will be diverted. Please follow the diversion signage in place.

County Louth
5 reviews
Grade Strenuous
Length 14.3 km
Am 4 hours 30 minutes
Format Loop
Ascent 400 m
Dogs Allowed No
Waymarking Red arrow on white background
Start Point
Tourist Office (Harbour Carpark)
Finish Point
Tourist Office (Harbour Carpark)
Nearest Town to Start Carlingford
Grid Ref. J 188 117
Lat. and Long. 54.0406, -6.1856301

This loop follows red arrows on tarmac and forestry roads, grassy track and mountain paths with one rough section which can be boggy and wet in places. There are some ascents and descents with the initial ascent very steep while the others are more gradual. The loop goes through forest, with two sections along forest edge and some open mountain. The views are stunning, along the coast to the north and south, across Carlingford Lough to the Mourne Mountains while in good conditions the Isle of Man is visible.

Maps and other information

Trail Management

Tourist Information Office,
Republic of Ireland


Carlingford Town

Map Guides

Map Guides

EastWest Mapping - Cooley 1:25,000 | Email:

OSI Maps

OSI Maps

Discovery Series Sheet 36
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Bus Eireann timetables available at

5 trail reviews
Write your own review of this trail

Julia from Meath

Nice scenery, good hike. However a bit confusing, some trails are missing their waymarkers, I made a few wrong turns during this hike which made it a bit more difficult. We eventually found our way back down. Good hike I would recommend however please fix the waymarkers

David from Dublin

If you are a hill-walker and a visitor, then explore a little of Ireland’s Ancient East, away from the tourist crowd. With “lost” villages, megalithic tombs and a landscape that nourished the stone age and fostered our legends.

And if you are local, but early in your hill-walking adventures, then this walk is for you. Made “challenging” only by its length (14 km), its occasional difficulty underfoot, and the need for a little wayfinding.

You can read a full review of The Barnavave Loop, and other info on the areao n my blog Best Walks : And here's the link to the walk review:


John from Meath

A great hike. You would need clothing for all potential weather as it can change quickly up there. The section with the forest fence on your left is difficult and does warrant a boot rather than a shoe. As others have mentioned, walking poles would be of assistance for that part.

At the end of the section with the forest fence to your left the space opens out to a view of Carlingford (this is about half way and a good place to stop for a break). The signage here was loose and propped up against a large rock. Be careful to keep right here at the same level as opposed to going downhill. If you head downhill you will inadvertently be on the shorter Slieve Foye loop.

The second half of the Loop was nicer in my opinion.

Richard from Dublin

Walked this on 09/10/2014 starting in Carlingford town centre and initially walked NW. The route is ideal for walkers who have some experience at lower levels who wish to test themselves on steeper ground. A map and compass are recommended on the route due to the dangers of low lying cloud on the summit of Barnavave.

The walk soon leaves the town and the views across Carlingford Lough are magnificent. You are then treated to a wonderful forest section with a series of waterfalls to your left hand side. Where the track joins the road at J169137 there is no waymarker just turn left and head uphill.

Soon you will cross a stile and the views of Eagles rock are excellent. The next section hand railing the forest on your left hand side is very wet and rocky in places. Boots and gaiters are advisable. If you have a walking pole this will come in particularly handy when crossing the broken ground.

There is a waymarker missing at the next major junction (J179115) so remember to continue in a SW direction eventually bringing you to the col between Slieve Foye and Barnavave. Climbing to the summit gives one a real sense of achievement and if the weather is good you will be rewarded. The walk then descends down to an abandoned settlement and through farm land before returning to the town centre.

Take care not to miss a right turn following the red markers or else you'll end up on the Roosky Loop and cut the walk short...but then again you may have tired legs. The last section of the route is all on roads so if you would prefer a more scenic end to the day you could do the hike in reverse.

A walk I will do again for sure!!!


John from Meath

Walk is well marked from start to finish. The upper part of the walk is scenic and there is an interesting abandoned village near the end. Very enjoyable walk.

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