Trostan Mountain

The highest hill in County Antrim may not have the might or distinction of some of those in the other counties but it has a great quality. It is rarely visited. In my 17 years of visits I have only ever seen another person once and that was when I had been on its northern slopes for 13 hours after camping overnight. On nearly every other Antrim Hill I have met lots of folk but not on this blessing. This near promise of peace is what draws me back again and again. I adore the place and this is why.

Windmills on the horizon are minimal.The variety of approaches is a plus, the views are wonderful in most directions with it’s southern vistas in particular being very photogenic and the lunar landscape of the summit is such a unique feature that is worth the visit all by itself. So what is the best route? The apparent pattern to my routes of ascent of all hills seems to be the ones that disguise the best views until the last minute and while that is difficult in this instance this route has the bonus of including its neighbour Slievenanee Mountain. As with all good routes in the Antrim Hills I would advise you to have cars at both ends as the landscape doesn’t help create great long, circular routes without too much road walking. It is made for multiple lines from inland valley, town or forest to the Antrim coast. When done this way a lifetime of walks become obvious.

“The apparent pattern to my routes of ascent of all hills seems to be the ones that disguise the best views until the last minute”

For this route, leave one car in Glenariff Forest Park car park and the other near the shed on the Altarichard Road (NW 31278 78280) while not obstructing any access and then turn onto the Old Cushendun Road and walk a few hundred yards to you can see the fence going up the mountain on your right (NW 31923 78457) Simply follow its right side up to the fence junction, cross it and then make your way across to the summit (NW 33039 78103). When you have had your fill of the view make your way northeast across the boggy gap and up to Trostan (NW 34666 80265). This approach hides the views that await on the northern edge of the summit plateau but when you do reach it they will take your breath away. Tievebulliagh Mountain with its pointy profile is dominant to the north and you have the bulk of Slieveanorra Mountain to the west and Lurigethan Mountain and the coast to the east. This is a wondrous view that takes a long time to study and get your fill of so allow plenty of time to do so. When you have seen everything you want to it’s time for the best route of descent. 

On the mountain’s eastern side there is a large ledge. If you descend on to it then turn southwards eventually it will lead you to the Ballyeamon Road (NW 35464 80105) This descent allows you to complete your picture of the mountain and its place in the landscape while at the same time giving great views over to Lurigethan, the coast and the bog on its lower slopes. When you finally reach it, cross the road and use the first entrance to enter Glenariff Forest Park at (NW 36184, This track leads you down to the main entrance on the Glenariffe Road where you can make your way to your car in the Forest Park at (NW 37491 76701)

Enjoy :-)