15 Highest Mountains in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the best places to hike or trek. With hundreds of mountains, national parks, lush forests, and scenic views, it has to be the place to destress or go for an adventure.
To make the most out of your Northern Ireland stay, here are some of the highest mountains that are perfect for your adventurous escapades.
Known for being the tallest mountain in Northern Ireland, Slieve Donard forms part of the Mourne mountains. It has three subsidiary peaks; Thomas’s Mountain, Millstone Mountain, and Crossone, all in the seaward direction.
The eroded paths pose some challenges to hikers. But, there’s a stone path on the steepest part to ease the challenge. Once you scale the mountain, you can enjoy the scenic views of the coastal areas of Northern Ireland.
Slieve Commedagh loosely translates to “Mountain of Watching.” This 2,516-foot mountain lies to the west side of Slieve Donard, and the two mountains are linked by col. A small one-room tower sits atop the mountain. It was built to provide shelter for men constructing the wall. It makes an excellent spot to view the Donard forest.
Slieve Binnian is best known for its broad, flat summit. The 2,451-foot mountain has impressive granite towers between the rocky tors and is one of the major peaks of the Mourne Mountains.
The mountain is one of the easier ones to climb because of the Goat trail Crisscrossing. On your way to the top, you can stop at the various fascinating points on the mountain. These include the disused Douglas Crag quarry and the abandoned quarrying village.
Slieve Bearnagh is another one of the Mourne Mountains. It’s crowned by several rocky tors and is cut from east to west by the Mourne Wall.
There are two paths on either side of the mountain. On the west is the Pollaphuca and to the west is Hare’s Gap, which also descends southwards to the Ben Crom Reservoir. For hikers, there are various places to start your ascent with your destination at the peak. If the skies are clear, the views from the top of the mountain are stunning.
Slieve Meelbeg is the twin to the adjacent Slieve Meelmore and the higher of the two. It is a relatively unremarkable hill filled with crags.
It’s most notable feature is the Mourne Wall, which makes its way to the summit of the hill. For hikers, the Trassey Road from the North and West is the most commonly used ascent route.
You can also use the Ott Track that leads to the Col between Carn Mountain and the Slieve Loughshannagh. Once at the summit, the North-west side has the best views of the rolling country and the Mid County Down.
The sixth highest mountain in Northern Ireland sits just six miles from the village of Hilltown, making it a popular hiking spot and to the south of its twin the Slieve Meelbeg.
The steep-backed mountain is one of the Historical Seven Sevens, although technically, it is not over 700m tall. In older maps, the mountain was mistakenly listed as 704m, but that has since been changed.
It is crossed by the Mourne Wall and heavy with crags that overlook the Pollaphuca on the eastern side. The Trassey Track sets you on the most popular route to the summit with a 490m ascent over 2.8 miles.
Like the other Mourne Mountains, Meelmore features the Mourne wall and has a tower like Slieve Donard. There’s no shortage of dramatic views at the summit of the mountain, with the most impressive being the monstrous peak of the adjacent Slieve Bearnagh.
The name Lamagan means “by hands and feet.” If the weather is nice, which is rare here, you might do with a steep walk. It’s one of the most challenging high mournes peaks to climb.
Slieve Lamagan sits in the middle of the range. It’s a slog that takes two other peaks on your way up to the summit.
The path that leads to the top of the mountain peters out after a short climb. You have to deal with the crumbling rocks for a while with steeps that seem to go on forever.
Sawel Mountain is the highest peak in the Sperrin Mountains and the 8th highest in Northern Ireland. It’s located in County Down just outside of the Mourne Moutain range.
Its summit is composed of crystalline limestone with a “montane heathland” featuring heather, bilberries, and cowberries.
The moderate trail starts off boggy, but quickly works into the steep sections of the mountain. The track is also perfect for bird watching, nature trips, and walking.
Also known as the Mountain of the Pigs or the Poverty Mountain, Slieve Muck is tucked in the county of Newry, Mourne, and Down. The mountain has three summits composed of Silurian shale covering underlying granite.
On a day when the other mountains are thronging with hikers, you will find solace walking up grassy and soggy paths of Slieve Muck. Although there are no clear paths, the presence of the Mourne Wall can help you stay on the right track.
Cuilcagh sits on the border between County Fermanagh and Country Cavan. It’s the 170th highest peak in the Island of Ireland and is sometimes referred to as the Cuilcagh Mountains.
The hiking trail requires full mountain precautions and experience due to the mountain blanket bog, uneven ground, and wet crossing. The hiking trail is very isolated and runs through the wild countryside.
Chimney Rock Mountain
Chimney Rock is not the most popular mountain on the Mournes. There’s evidence of mining in the mountain with a scattering of small tors along the top. The Bloody Bridge leads to the quarry and features a short steep with several short icefalls in winter.
Cove Mountain presents an arduous route perfect for experienced hikers. The best hiking trail is the Laurel Falls trail, which was built in 1932 for fire crews. The 80-foot falls are one of the major attractions in Cove Mountain, among other scenic views.
Eagles Mountain sits in the county of Newry, Mourne, and Down. It has a prominence of 264m with mud hiking routes. The most attractive feature of the Eagles Mountain is the most extensive crag in the Mournes, which you can find on the Northeast face of the mountain.
Situated in the county of Derry and Strabane, Mullaghclogha has a prominence of 202 metres. The high peaks offer expansive views, which are the main reason for hiking the mountain. You can approach the mountain from any number of points in the Glenelly Valley or from the Tamnagh Road in the east.
Mullaghneany is part of the horse-shoe that incorporates Craighagh Hill. It has an unassuming summit and splendid views into the far east over Maghera, Magherafelt, and beyond. You can reach the mountain via Mullaghaneany or Craig Hill or from Mullaghsallagh or Crockback.