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More about Killaloo Wood

This enchanting oak wood nestling in the beautiful Faughan Valley contains fragments of ancient woodland as well as newer planting. It has a splendid bluebell display in spring, and is home to some wonderful wildlife, including red squirrel, otter and a growing number of bird species.

Killaloo Wood comprises two sections of woodland separated by a block of fields and is one of the 50 sites in Northern Ireland chosen as ‘Woods on your Doorstep’ to celebrate the dawning of the new millennium. It’s one of a cluster of older and newly planted woods in the valley, which has been designated an Area of Special Scientific Interest.

In spring, you’ll be greeted by a splendid display of vivid bluebells, sprinkled with the white of wood anemone and wild garlic. And in the summer months, you may be lucky enough to spot the purple hairstreak butterfly – you’ll recognise it by the flash of intense violet on its dusky wings. Rare in Ireland and found only in oak woods, it spends much of its time in the tree canopy, but can sometimes be seen basking near the ground. Don’t forget to look out for red squirrels too.

The River Faughan, which runs along the south western boundary of the wood, is renowned for its population of Atlantic salmon. As well as attracting anglers, it’s a magnet for kingfishers. Watch out for the iridescent blue-green flash as they swoop over the water. It’s rare to spot an otter as they’re very shy creatures, but you may see signs of their presence, such as their fishbone-filled droppings, or spraints, and the muddy slides where they enter the river.

After exploring Killaloo, why not extend your walk into the other Trust owned sites in the valley? There’s the fast maturing Oaks Wood, just a mile downstream; Burntollet Wood, with its vibrant wildflower meadow; and our First World War Centenary Wood at Brackfield. With its diverse woodlands, tranquil riverside walks, plentiful wildlife and stunning views, the Faughan Valley has so much to offer.

Setting

The 7.59ha (18.76-acre) site is located at Killaloo, a hamlet eight kilometres (five miles) south west of Derry/Londonderry on the A6 Dungiven/Belfast Road.

Getting there

By bus
There is a regular bus service from Derry/Londonderry to Dungiven travelling along the A6.

By train
The closest train station is in Derry/Londonderry.

For up to date information about public transport, visit Translink (028 9066 6630). 

By car
From Derry/Londonderry, head south along the A6 for about 9.6km (six miles). From the Belfast direction, pass through Dungiven on the A6 and continue for about 19km (12 miles). Killaloo Wood is next to the layby opposite Brackfield Bawn. There is also a car park close to the Woodland Trust’s Burntollet Wood – follow the signs for ‘Ervey Wood car park’.

Access and walks

Pedestrian access is through a series of kissing gates from the track opposite Brackfield Bawn, from the old Glenshane Road and from the river’s edge. There is an information board at the main entrance. A path takes you through the smaller section of wood, across the fields that separate the two sections, and alongside the river. Look out for the galvanised steel seat shaped like an oak leaf, installed to mark the millennium.

Much of the site is steeply sloping so may be challenging for less able visitors.

Local amenities

Public conveniences
Ness Country Park managed by the Forest Service falls within this cluster of sites and has a small visitor centre with a toilet block and a wheelchair accessible pathway.

Refreshments
There are a few shops and places to eat in Claudy. TripAdvisor has a comprehensive list of restaurants.

Accommodation and tourist information

Derry has a range of accommodation. For places to stay and other things to do in the area, see TripAdvisor, The Faughan Valley, and VisitDerry. There is a tourist information centre at 44 Foyle St, Derry, County Londonderry, BT48 6AT (028 7126 7284).

Entry into our woods is free but please donate now to help us care for them.