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Lower Lough Erne

 

Lower Lough Erne is fringed by woodland growing on the shore that was exposed during drainage schemes from the 1800’s to the 1950s. 

This damp woodland is a haven for mixed flocks of tits and siskins in winter, and in spring is carpeted with primroses, violets, wild garlic and marsh marigolds. Some islands are wooded and have heronries and breeding woodcock, others are grazed and have important breeding populations of curlew, lapwing, redshank and snipe, while on the exposed rocky islands gulls, common terns and Sandwich terns breed. Speckled wood, green veined white and orange tip butterflies are commonplace; sheltered areas usually also have peacock and tortoiseshell and wherever there are mature oak and violet there is the possibility of seeing silverwashed fritillaries.

4 Ely Lodge Forest Walking Trails

Ely Lodge Forest Walking Trails

(part of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark)

Along these two looped walks you may see great crested and little grebe, tufted duck, mallard and mute swan, as well as flowering rush and tufted sedge that grow at the water’s edge.

Bluebells and wood anemones are abundant in spring, while later in the summer broad leaved helleborines and bird’s nest orchids grow beside the path. Feral goats can sometimes be seen on the wooded offshore islands while red squirrels and pine martens reside in the area.

How to get there

From Enniskillen take the A46 Shore road towards Belleek, continue past the golf club.
Ely Lodge Forest car park is sign posted on the right hand side of the road around 5miles from Enniskillen.

Trail Information, Facilities & Access

  • ‚Two waymarked walks: Lough Shore Walk, loop 1.4 miles/2.25km walk & Carrickreagh Viewpoint Walk, loop 1.6 miles/2.6km. 
  • Both easy walks along forest tracks and gravel paths. ‚ 
  • Carpark, picnic area and information panel.

5 Castle Caldwell Forest

Castle Caldwell Forest

(part of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark)

There are lovely trails through the wooded peninsulas at the eastern end of the lake. The bluebells are spectacular in spring and a wide variety of wildfowl occur off shore. The lake shore walks have numerous tree species including less common species such as spindle, guelder rose, purging buckthorn and the endemic Irish whitebeam. Yews occur on rocky outcrops.

How to get there

Sign-posted from the A4 Kesh to Belleek Road. The entrance to Castle Caldwell Forest Park is clearly signposted.

Trail Information, Facilities & Access

  • ‚There are three way marked walking routes along forest tracks and gravel paths: Castle Scenic Walk 0.3miles/0.5km, Beechwood Walk 1.25 miles/2km, Rossergole Point Walk 2.5 miles/4 km. All with even surface. ‚ 
  • Carpark with picnic area and information panel. ‚ 
  • Ruins of Castle Caldwell. ‚ 
  • Rossergole viewpoint. ‚ 
  • RSPB Nature Reserve. ‚ 
  • Also accessible by boat via jetty

6 Castle Archdale Country Park

Castle Archdale Country Park

The many trails through this park will guide you through a variety of habitats: mature woodland, alder and willow carr and a rather fine wild flower meadow in front of the stable yard has cowslips and lesser butterfly orchids. There are several specially constructed dragonfly ponds.

How to get there

‚Situated on the main Enniskillen to Kesh Road, the B82. It is well signposted and is located 1 mile/1.6km from Lisnarick village.

Walk Information, Facilities & Access

  • ‚ A series of three looped walking routes: yellow, red and blue, ranging in length from 5 miles/8km to 1 mile/1.6km. 
  • There is also a 6 miles/9.6km cycle route. 
  • These go through mature woodland and lakeside paths. ‚Even surface. ‚ 
  • Car Parking. ‚ 
  • Cafe & Visitor Centre/Museum – seasonal opening, please phone ahead for times & prices. ‚
  •  Picnic Area ‚ Interpretive Panels