Rea's Wood Nature Reserve

Nature reserves are chosen from among the very best examples of our wildlife, habitats and geology. They contain a wide range of species, communities and geology and their designation is a public recognition by Government of their importance.


Rea’s Wood is situated one mile from Antrim along the Dublin Road, or by walking south from the Sixmilewater Marina car park.  There are information points for visitors as well as paths available and a cycle path. Toilets are nearby at the Loughshore Park, Antrim.

Sights and sounds

Rea’s Wood Nature Reserve is an attractive landscape feature which is situated near the Lough Neagh shoreline.  This serene area stretches for one mile along the shores of Lough Neagh and is a fine example of wet woodland which is full of alder, willow and birch trees. The Lough level has been lowered several times and the woodland now includes parallel sand bars with peaty hollows in between that were once part of the lake bed. The luxuriantly vegetated woodland floor provides an ideal home not only for plants but also for many rare invertebrates such as snails, slugs, hoverflies and beetles.

Some of these creatures originate from as far as the Ice Age era. This reserve also has an unbroken history of woodland cover for thousands of years. The mossy alder trees are filled in rich swampy areas with sedges, marsh marigold, tall yellow flags and the rare and beautiful summer snowflake. 

Visitors will also be able to hear the beautiful sounds of birdsong which makes this one of the reasons why Rea’s Wood is such an extremely popular area for birdwatchers.


  • Car park
  • information points
  • paths
  • cycle path

Further information

Toilets are available at the Loughshore Park, Antrim. Contact the Site manager on Tel. 02838399195

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