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Co Tyrone: one walk, one run, one hike, one swim, one cycle, one park and one outdoor gym

Your essential, outdoor, family-friendly guide to Co Tyrone

When the weather is good, there is so much to do outdoors in Ireland – solo, or with family or friends. Here are seven activities - with locations, descriptions, tips and some maps for a general guide.

Below you can read John O'Dwyer's pick for a great walking path, Conor O'Keeffe on a running route, Rozanna Purcell recommends a hiking trail, Mary McCarthy on an outdoor swimming location, Ian O'Riordan picks a cycle trip, Sylvia Thompson on a family-friendly park and Fiona Alston selects a popular outdoor gym.

And remember, whatever you do and wherever you go, please be safe. And enjoy.

Name Ladies View Walk
Distance 4km
Approximate duration 1.5 hours
Difficulty Strenuous
Starting point Google Maps Gortin Glen Forest Park (grid reference H 499 842); you can follow this NI Walks guide
Amenities Parking
A short but fairly demanding walk that initially follows the pretty Poulan Stream before rising to a superb viewing point at 350m. This circular trail then leads back to the car park through serene conifer forests.


Name: Coalisland Canal Walk
Length: 16km (Return)
Terrain: Part Tarmac/ Part Unsurfaced
Route type: Linear (Out and Back)
Background: This is a walk along the towpath of the Coalisland Canal. The canal was opened in 1789 to bring coal from Coalisland to Dublin via the River Blackwater, Lough Neagh and Newry Canal. Coalisland acted as an inland port with lighters carrying grain for the mills and provisions for the surrounding towns. Between Macks Bridge and Moor Bridge the River Torrent is one side of the Towptath and the canal is on the other.

Route Information: The walk begins at the Cornmill in Coalisland town centre. The towpath is a straight walk along the 4.5 mile stretch. However, it has three sections after about 1600m runners will have to cross the Gortgonis Road at Macks bridge to access the second section of the run. A further 800m along this pathway will lead to the busy Moor road at McAliskeys lock, once again you must cross this road to connect to the last part of the run, the final 5km will lead to the Reenaderry Road where the canal path ends, this is known as The Point where the canal meets the Blackwater river.

Take turn off for junction 14 on the M1 motorway and follow the A45 to Coalisland. Park at Cornmill carpark in the centre of Coalisland. Exit the carpark opposite Dorman's chemist, turn left and run 50m until you come to the dam lock. Whether you get a thin fog rolling atop the canal in the early morning or you have rays of sunshine hitting the canal waters you're sure to enjoy your run in the wonderful gem in Tyrone. (Aided by: Trek NI)

Hike name Mullaghcarn and Gortin Forest Loop
Distance 13km
Elevation gain 740m
Approximate duration 3-3.5 hours
Difficulty Intermediate
Route type Loop
Starting point See AllTrails Mullaghcarn and Gortin Forest
Amenities Parking, toilets, cafe
Dog-friendly? Yes
Tips There are lots of trails here to meander and make a route to suit your fitness levels and available time

Name: Loughmacrory
Location: Google Map: Loughmacrory, Omagh. From the village turn north opposite the Post Office along the Ballybrack Road. After about 100m, entrance to parking available in a layby on the left
Brief description: Small lough only one small car park. beautiful, unspoilt freshwater environment
Amenities: Car park, toilet in the area
Lifeguard: No
Water quality: The NIEA does not monitor but it is within the Drumnakilly water body which is classed as being good or better status
Tips: Mostly used for fishing but more swimmers are starting to come here. Handy stone slipway into the water. Not a designated swimming area but peaceful and gorgeous surroundings. Lovely walking route around the lake

Name: Gold Cycle Route
Start location: Gortin
Setting out from Gortin, up the Owenkillew Valley, past Glenhull village and back along the Owenkillew River to Gortin.
Distance: 50km
Time: 2-3 hours
Highlights: The breathtaking Glenelly and Owenkillew Valleys as you cycle through the dramatic Barnes Gap and the wilds of Sawelabeg and Doraville.
Look out for: On route there are public houses at Glenhull and Scotch Town.
Tips: For more information on all Northern Ireland cycling routes see

Park name: Drum Manor Forest Park, Cookstown
Amenities: Forest walks and cycles. Plenty of space for running, dog walking and picnics by the lake. A play park for younger children.
Special features: A detailed downloadable map of forest park trails
Access: Paid car parking. Google Map "Drum Manor Forest Park".
Dogs: Dogs on leads welcome.
Tip: Consider camping here as seasoned campers rate the campsite highly.

Name: Mid Ulster Sport Arena, Cookstown
Equipment: Leg press, chest press, sit-up bench, pull-down, dips, leg raise.
Location: Google Maps
Information: The 10 outdoor gym stations are located around the 1.4km cross-country running track.

Get Active Series
- 32 great walking routes in Ireland - one in each county
- 32 great hikes in Ireland
- 32 great running routes
- 32 great outdoor swim locations
- 32 great cycling routes
- 32 great parks
- 32 great outdoor gyms