Bog Meadows walking route
This route is through an area of floodplain, which provides a fantastic oasis for wildlife in the city. It mainly follows level stone paths and a wheelchair friendly route is available.
||1.1 miles, 1.7 km
|Average time to walk
||30 - 40 minutes
|Access by bus
|Access by car
||Car park at bottom of Milltown Row and the entrance is signposted off Falls Road.
From the car park follow the path to the left of the playing fields.
Cross the footbridge over the Ballymurphy Stream, then take the path on your left. This leads around the perimeter of the site with the Bog meadows (1) on the right.
The path continues adjacent to some houses and near the M1 motorway. Around the site there are viewing platforms (1, 2 and 3) which allow you to pause and appreciate the site’s rich biodiversity and the views of the Belfast Hills.
Follow the path until you reach a junction then turn right alongside the main pond (3); off to the right is another viewing mound and platform. Cross another footbridge and turn right out around the meadows.
The path runs alongside a drainage channel (4) on your left and another viewing mound on your right. The path then turns right with willow trees between the path and Milltown Cemetery (6).
At the next junction turn left, which leads you to the car park via a steep hill. Disabled users should keep right and follow the gravel paths around the playing fields back to the car park.
Things of Interest
- Bog Meadows (1) This 19 hectare (47 acre site) is now a local Nature Reserve. It is all that remains of the once extensive wetlands created by the flooding of the Blackstaff River. Today the reserve is managed by Ulster Wildlife. It contains woodland and dry meadows as well as the low-lying marshes.
- Reedbeds (2) These wetlands areas are home to a wide range of plants like reedmace and invertebrates such as dragonflies and damselflies.
- Viewing Mounds (3) These provide excellent views over the ponds and meadows, the city and hills beyond.
- Pond (4) Open water was created to provide habitat for waterfowl and other bird life. The island has a nest-box tower to encourage breeding swifts.
- Drainage channels (5) The drains across the site are home to many aquatic plants and animals, such as marsh marigold, watercress, newts and frogs.
- Farm fields (6) These fields are managed as species-rich grasslands using traditional breeds of cattle.
- Milltown Cemetery (7) This cemetery, owned by the Catholic Church was consecrated in 1870. It contains unmarked graves for over 80,000 victims of the 1918 flu pandemic.
Look out for
- Sedge warblers singing in the reed beds in spring and summer.
- Hedgerow plants, such as woody nightshade and guelder rose.
- Stonechats and reed buntings throughout the year.