a road on a hill by the water

Inishowen Head Loop

pictures by Elena T.

Explore the Scenic Inishowen Head Loop in County Donegal

Inishowen Head Loop, an approximately 8-km trail located near Greencastle, County Donegal, that visitors can explore. The trail is generally considered moderately challenging and takes an average of 3 hours to complete. It's a popular spot for hiking, running, and walking, and visitors can enjoy some solitude during quieter times of the day. Dogs are welcome on the trail but must be kept on a leash.

Enjoy Beautiful Ocean Views and Solitude

While the route is fairly well marked with purple arrows, it's recommended that visitors have a basic understanding of the trail beforehand to know what to expect.


What to Expect on Your Inishowen Head Loop Adventure

To start the walk, visitors can head down the hill from the official Inishowen Head Loop car park towards the Stroove Lighthouse. From there, they can take a right onto the main road and follow it for about 800 meters, passing several houses along the way. At Carrowtrasna Road, visitors can take a right and begin the climb.

The trail becomes steeper as visitors proceed, first following a laneway and then a bog path. After roughly a kilometre, visitors will reach a T-junction, where they should take a right and continue climbing. Another kilometre up, visitors will reach the highest point of the trail.

The track now leads downhill through a remote stretch with beautiful ocean views opening up around. Although two trails appear on the left, visitors should stay on the main path as it curves towards the east and the picnic table on the left. The path then curves again and leads back to the car park along a mostly flat trail, changing from a muddy track to a gravel path and then to a tarmacked country road.

Visitors can enjoy the incredible views along this stretch and take time to appreciate the scenery. As they near the car park, visitors will see a plaque on the left side of the road that marks Portkill, the place that St. Columba set sail to Iona from. There's also a nice seated viewpoint on the right-hand side. Finally, after a short 500-meter walk, visitors will reach the car park and the end of the walk.

by Elena T.

Inishowen Head Loop
Inishowen Head Loop
Inishowen Head Loop
Inishowen Head Loop
Inishowen Head Loop
Inishowen Head Loop

Tips for visitors

  1. Wear comfortable and sturdy shoes: The trail can be challenging in some sections, so wearing shoes that provide good support and grip is essential.

  1. Check the weather forecast: The weather in Ireland can be unpredictable, so it's a good idea to check the forecast before heading out on the trail. Be prepared for rain and wind, and dress accordingly.

  1. Bring plenty of water and snacks: There are no shops or facilities along the trail, so visitors should bring enough water and snacks to last the entire hike.

  1. Follow the trail markers: The Inishowen Head Loop is marked with purple arrows, so be sure to follow them to avoid getting lost.

  1. Take breaks and enjoy the views: The trail offers stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding countryside, so be sure to take breaks and appreciate the scenery along the way.

  1. Respect the environment: Visitors should be mindful of their environmental impact and follow the "Leave No Trace" principles. This means packing out all trash and not disturbing the natural surroundings.

  1. Be aware of wildlife: Visitors may encounter wildlife on the trail, such as sheep or cows. It's important to respect their space and not disturb them.

Following these tips allows visitors to have a safe and enjoyable experience while exploring the Inishowen Head Loop.


The place has a parking.

Parking (Free)

Pets are allowed at the place.

Pets Allowed

The place has benches and/or picnic areas.


The place has trail markings and signs.

Trail Markings

Map Location

a person holding a watch

Distance from:

Letterkenny - 32.1 km

Buncrana - 68 km

Bunbeg - 117 km

Donegal Town - 110 km

Derry - 25.4 ml

Visit more places for a walk in Donegal