Come See Footsteps In The Forest At Slieve Gullion

Footsteps in the Forest Returns to Slieve Gullion with an Immersive Halloween Experience

Footsteps in the Forest Returns to Slieve Gullion with an Immersive Halloween Experience

Would you take a walk in a spooky forest during Halloween? 

Footsteps in the Forest’, will make a spooktacular return to Slieve Gullion Forest Park between Wednesday 25 and Monday 30 October.

Once again celebrating the Gaelic festival of Samhain (Sow-in), which marks the harvest season’s end and the beginning of winter, the six-day festival will see Slieve Gullion transformed into the ‘otherworld’.

Historically celebrated throughout Ireland, Samhain is steeped in tradition that to this day shapes the holiday we now know as Halloween.

Footsteps in the Forest will bring this fun and immersive Halloween experience to life through costumed characters, spectacular illuminations, and mythical storytelling. 

Newry Mourne and Down District Councill Chairperson, Cllr Valerie Harte, right, pictured with a woodland nymph getting ready for the Footsteps in the Forest festival in Slieve Gullion Park.

Visitors will go along a self-guided, illuminated trail that will take them on the journey from the origins of Samhain to modern day Halloween.

To bring a mystical quality to the experience, the event will be held in the evening enthralling and capturing the imaginations of all ages.

The event will start each evening at 5pm with nine self-guided trails that will run every half hour until the last show at 9pm.

An accessible tour will take place at 5pm and 5.30pm each day with a brighter setting and lower music. An Irish language session will take place on Thursday 26 October at 6pm and 6.30pm.

Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Valerie Harte, said: “Footsteps in the Forest brings to a close our Giant Adventures 2023 festival line-up.

“The festival has been a firm favourite with families since 2016.

There will be many woodland characters to meet you as you snake you way through the woods at Slieve Gullion.

“I am delighted that the extended programme will be returning this year to celebrate traditions of the past that people of all ages will delight in.”

Chairperson Cllr Harte added: “This six-day festival will have something for Halloween fans of all ages.

“As well as a spectacular illumination display, it will have an abundance of family fun wherever you turn.

“I am very proud of the events the Council has delivered this year.

Children and parents pictured at the Footsteps in the Forest event last year chatting to a forest character.

Wake the Giant and the Eats & Beats festivals have not only delivered in terms of quality and scale, but they used what we are best known for in our district – our landscapes, legends, music and produce – to create three unique experiences.

“I have no doubt that Footsteps in the Forest will build upon this further.”

Footsteps in the Forest is a free event, but booking is essential.

Tickets will go live on Monday 9 October at 11am on the Mourne Mountains and Ring of Gullion website:

so please follow the Mourne Mountains & Ring of Gullion social media pages for reminders and updates – @VisitMourne.

In addition to the Footsteps in the Forest festival, there will be an exciting programme of Halloween events that will also celebrate the district’s culture and heritage.

These events will add to the fantastic offering already in place for both locals and visitors enjoying autumn in the Mourne Mountains and Ring of Gullion. 

Stories will be read at various stops on the Footsteps in the Park intinerary.

With so much on offer why not explore more of what the destination has to offer?

Further information on where to stay, eat, and for even more things to do during your stay here in the Mourne Mountains and Ring of Gullion, please go to:

About Slieve Gullion Fores Park:

Slieve Gullion Forest Park offers the unmissable opportunity to experience tranquil woodland trails, stunning views across the Ring of Gullion, Mourne Mountains, Cooley Peninsula and Armagh Drumlins and top-class facilities for walkers and families.

With plenty of family fun and things to do, from following Fionn’s Giant Adventure (previously known as the Giant’s Lair) in the wonderful Hawthorn Hill Forest Nature Reserve, visitors can explore the Adventure Playpark.

Or they can take a turn in the ornamental walled garden, where they will find picnic benches, an outdoor performance stage, an al fresco coffee bar (open in the summer) and a wildlife pond with covered seating areas.