Roe Valley Country Park is an incredibly versatile amenity which allows walkers to choose riverside or woodland routes varying in distance between 3 and 11 kilometres.
This is one of seven country parks managed by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and, as a result, it is well appointed and maintained. The Dogleap Visitor Centre is the best starting point for any of the walks and provides a tea-room and adjacent car parking.
The park includes a five kilometre stretch of the River Roe – a renowned salmon river – which has its source in the peat bogs of the Sperrin Mountains. Its origins may explain the river’s characteristic red colour, with ‘Roe’ coming from the Gaelic word ‘ruadh’, meaning red. Apart from salmon, other native fish to be found here include brown trout and sea lamprey.
Depending on your route, you may see the site of the former O’Cahan’s Castle (the O’Cahan clan ruled Roe Valley between the twelfth and seventeenth centuries); two Bleach Green watchtowers which were used by guards to prevent valuable linen from being stolen while it was laid out to bleach naturally in the open air; and the New Weir which, despite its name, was built in the seventeenth century to control the flow of water to Roe Mill.