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Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail meanders through one of the largest expanses of blanket bog in Northern Ireland, traversing over tracks, boardwalk and staircase. A steep climb is required to reach the viewing platform which provides breath taking views of the surrounding low lands.
The first part of the walk passes through a fascinating limestone landscape, often referred to as “The Fertile Rock” due to its flower rich pastures. Visible along the trail you will see abandoned Irish cottages, dry stone walls and potato cultivation ridges (“lazy beds”) all remnants of Ireland’s past heritage.
Continuing along the gravel vehicle track the landscape starts to change to blanket bog where the unmistakable, flat-topped ridge of Cuilcagh Mountain is visible in the horizon. After 4km, you start your ascent of Cuilcagh Mountain. The way is negotiated by a section of boardwalk, providing protection to the sensitive blanket bog beneath. If you’re fortunate you may catch a glimpse of a red grouse. The bird's most obvious features are its plump shape, white eyelids with bright pinkish-red combs above, and feathered legs and feet. They stay on the heath all year round eating the short, succulent shoots of heather.
Your final ascent is via a steep section of steps, these are not for the faint of heart! As you steadily climb you meander and weave your way through a rugged boulder landscape to eventually reach the viewing platform. The viewing platform positioned precariously at the edge of the mountain plateau offers breath-taking views over the surrounding landscape and an opportunity to take a well-deserved rest before starting your decent.
Start Point: H121335 Finish Point: H123280
Route: Access to the summit of Cuilcagh Mountain beyond the Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail Viewing Platform is not permitted. We ask visitors to keep to the designated path and to remain within the confines of the viewing platform. The habitat in this area is fragile and we kindly request that walkers respect the environment and do not stray from the designated route. Your cooperation with this is appreciated.
Please be aware:
• It is important to choose a walk that suits everyone in your group.
• Weather conditions on the Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail and Cuilcagh Mountain can be quick to change & can become quickly inhospitable all year round
• Equip yourself for walking in a mountainous area, waterproof clothing, boots, spare clothing, map, compass, first aid, food, drink etc are essential. • Be aware that mobile reception in the area is poor. Let someone know where you have gone and when you are expected back.
• In an Emergency: call 999 or 101 and ask for Mountain Rescue.
Did You Know? The Marble Arch Caves Visitor Centre is located just one minute drive from the Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail, the tourist attraction is open all year round offering facilities, Cafe, Guided Cave Tours and experiences.
Distance: 8miles/12 km return route
Time: Allow 3 to 4 hours.
Terrain: Gravel track, boardwalk, bog land
Maps / guides: Map is available to download and publication via the Marble Arch Caves website.
Point of interest: Cuilcagh Mountain is designated as a Special Area of Conservation, Area of Special Scientific Interest, RAMSAR site and within the UNESCO Global Geopark.
Toilet facilities and free car parking are available for walkers throughout the year at the nearby Killykeegan Nature Reserve, located 1mile from the start of the trail and it is signposted. The Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail is located a 1 minute drive from the Marble Arch Caves Visitor Centre, open all year round the Visitor Centre provides visitor information, Cafe, Guided Cave Tours, Experiences and Events.
Publication: Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail Booklet. Available from Marble Arch Caves or Fermanagh Visitor Information Centre
Nearest town: Belcoo, Northern Ireland. Blacklion, Republic of Ireland.
OS map: Sheet 26 (1:50 000)
Accessible terrain: Grade 5
Accessible signage: Accessible toilets, car parking and picnic area is available at Killykeeghan National Nature Reserve. Accessible facilities are available in the nearby Marble Arch Caves Visitor Centre.
Parking & Transport
- Parking (charge)
- Outdoor Attraction