Ards Forest Park
Ards Forest Park is a fabulous destination for a day trip and will provide much to do on many a repeat visit. The park covers approximately 1200 acres. It includes a variety of habitats, among them sand dunes, beaches, salt marshes, salt water lakes, rock face and, of course, coniferous and deciduous woodlands. The sea is one of the real treasures of this forest park and there are several trails, the Binngorm trail, the Salt Marsh Trail and the Sand Dune Trail, which offer the hiker an opportunity to experience it in all its facets.
There is a diverse range of flora and fauna in the park ranging from blackberry and bramble in the oak forest to water lilies which thrive in a fen area near Lough Lilly to orchids on the sand dunes. There are small areas of semi-natural woodland comprising trees such as oak, ash and birch giving you the feel of primeval woodlands in Ireland. There are also areas colonised with Rhododendron – which, although an unwelcome visitor, gives a great display in May and June. The park is also home to a wide selection of animals and birds and the special hide at the end of the salt marsh trail allows the visitor to watch our winter visitors feed on the salt marsh.
For those interested in human history, there are a number of historical and archaeological features. There are the remains of four ring forts together with a holy well and a mass rock.
Parking fee price is €5.00 per car daily and is paid at an unmanned automatic barrier machine so make sure you have change with you.