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Sperrins Epic, Londonderry

Badger Rating 4.5/5
This epic type trail is best done on a good sunny day, after a long dry period or good hard frost, as it entails crossing open mountain and some boggy sections.

Getting There

Park at the Ponderosa Pub (supposedly Ireland's highest), Glenshane Pass, the A6 Derry Road, or the car park opposite the pub.

Trail Description

Part 1

Follow the fire roads down into Glenshane Forest through the cross roads and stay on the fire road. Keep on the fire roads staying to the left at every Junction. This leads to a dead end and a steep climb out of the forest onto the mountain (Climb this on foot unless you are Superman).

When you get onto the open mountain you can head straight to get to the edge of the mountain with views down into Moneynena, Draperstown, Tobermore, Desertmartin on good days Magherafelt and further. From the side of the mountain then its right and follow this along until you reach whats locally known as Eagles Rock or Craig-na-shoke as on the map translates to "rock of hawks". Walking required in some parts.

Two possible ways from here:

Route 1 - A steep decent down the far right side of the cliff edge as you over look it. This leads down into Moydamlaght Forest which at the minute is mainly fire road. Take in the forest in what ever way suits. Some very fast descents on fireroads here but remember you will have to climb again when you reach the road. Leading out onto the B162 Dungiven Road turn right where you face a tight climb on the road. When you come to a small bridge with a stoney road leading into Banagher Forest turn left onto this. I think they have recently added a gate so look out for this.

Route 2 - Stay on top of eagles rock and try staying on the highest ground leading across to the large radio mast. Again some walking may be required. At the radio mast take the Tarmac road this is a fast downhill road with one hairpin corner slow through this then down to the gates and onto the B162 Dungiven road turning right onto this where these two routes meet.

Part 2

Banagher Forest - Follow the fireroad until you come to Altnaheglish Reservoir. Continue until you reach the Dam at the end of the Reservoir. A good Place to stop for a great view of the lake and something to eat. From here follow the tarmac road down the valley at the back of the Dam this is a fast descent through a natural wood forest with some hairy drops to the left into the valley so take care (Be aware of walkers on the raod a some corners may be blind and with the drops you dont want to be swerving to miss someone).

When you come to a bridge you can stop and look left up the river there is a great water fall to be viewed. Depending on what time of year can be quite spectacular if there is a good volume of water in the river. After the bridge continue until you come to a split in the road. Take the left turn onto a gravel lane and follow this keep on the right lane and a slight climb back into Banagher forest. Over a bridge and gate and stay Right. The fire road follows the path of the river.

From here the forest has been harvested so it will be open fireroad stay on this until you reach the end of the forest and out onto the B40 turning right follow the road and take the first forestry road on the left into Altbritain Forest. Continue through the forest turning left at the first junction then right. This point you can go right onto open mountain or left down through a disused quarry to the B40 Some good climbs and descents on these fireroads. Two possible routes from here:

Route 1 - Open mountain. follow the side of the forest then climb onto Oughtmore when you reach the top you can view the valley and see the best route to take to reach Crockbrack and Crockmore. Stay on high ground to make it easy. When you reach Crockbrack you can pick up a mountain gravel lane stay on this leading across to Crockmore then a great fast decent with some hairpin corners leading to a tarmac road. follow the road in a fast decent until you reach the B40 at Mulligans Bar.

Route 2 - After the Quarry turn right onto the B40 and here you have a small tight climb on the road until you reach the mountain top. Here you can follow the road all the way into Moneynena and through. Or take the Lane way to the right leading up the side of Craigagh Hill. This is a great route as you travel along a ridge called Spelhoagh with a very steep drop to your left and amazing views across Draperstown etc. Good days you can see Slemish. This route meets the route above at Oughtmore and follows the same path.

From the B40 at Mulligans bar turn right and follow this along for a few hundred yards until you come to a forestry gate on the left. Turn into Derrynoid Wood and follow the fireroad until you come to the Rural College.

Here there is car Parking a cafe/restaurant, Bar, Gym and shower facilities. For anyone wishing to stay over, there is accommodation also.
T 028 7962 9100
F 028 7962 7777

If this isn't your cup of tea, follow the forestry lanes around the wood until you reach the B40 and the forestry buildings on your right. Go out the gate and cross the B40 into a small wood and single track along the River Moyola's banks, returning up onto the B40 turning right across the road bridge and into Draperstown.

Good luck!

Useful Maps & Links

Sperrins Epic Trail Map


trail head marker Trail Head

Movies of Sperrins Epic, Londonderry


Reviews for this trail

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0 5
1= Rubbish      5= Badgertastic!
  • A cracking day out, lots of climbing but epic scenery. A big day in the saddle which you will want to do again and again
  • Very good days riding taking in fire roads, open mountain, single track and tarmac. Great scenary and a good all-round day. Small walking sections are the epics only downfall. Word of warning - Only attempt in very dry conditions or after a heavy frost.

NOTE: The trails on this site have been ridden before, but you should not interpret their inclusion as an indication that mountain-biking is officially sanctioned on them. Seeking permission from landowners is your own responsibility, as is conducting yourself in a manner that is courteous, respectful to the environment, and conscious of the safety of others.