As you plan your trip to Ireland Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail has to be high on your bucket list, it is one of the best things to do in County Fermanagh. The boardwalk is located in Cuilcagh Mountain Park and was open to the public in 2015. The trail is approximately 14.8 kilometres and provides 3 hours heavenly experience in the natural beauty of this wild and wonderful countryside.
History of Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail
The Sheridan family are the owners of Cuilcagh Mountain Park which boasts 2,500 hectares of rich biodiversity, on which the boardwalk is built. At 665m (2188 feet) above sea level, Cuilcagh is the highest point and the only true mountain in this part of the island of Ireland.
The park was founded in 1998 with assistance from the European Union’s LIFE Peatlands Project and the Heritage Lottery Fund. These funds helped to restore damaged peatland, to conserve pristine blanket bog and to increase awareness of bogland habitats and wildlife. Cuilcagh Mountain is a part of the Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark. This is reflecting the fact that it hosts many rare species, natural habitats and geological features. Mountain Conservation remains a key priority for the family who are dedicated to protecting this unique geological wonder Cuilcagh Mountain Park provides visitors to Ireland.
Cuilcagh Boardwalk – The Trail
Cuilcagh Trail meanders through one of the largest expanses of blanket bog in Northern Ireland via tracks, boardwalk and staircase. Blanket bog describes peatland where there is a high climate of rain and low levels of evaporation creating a blanket of bog.
The trail begins from a car park and quickly brings you to an area called “The Fertile Rock”, which gained its name from the rich flower pastures found there. The landscape gradually changes to blanket bog and visitors can make out the flat ridged mountain in the distance.
The Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail has become known locally as the Stairway to Heaven. The unique staircase zig-zags its way up the mountain. Luckily there is a handrail and plenty of points to stop and catch your breath and enjoy the view.
Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail climb to the top.
A total of 450 steps are climbed to reach the viewing platform which is 665m high and it ticks all the boxes for fresh air, breath-taking scenery and a massive sense of achievement. Successful climbers are rewarded with phenomenal views of the mountain, Lough Atona, Fermanagh and neighbouring counties of Cavan, Leitrim and Donegal.
The habitat on Cuilcagh Mountain is very sensitive to the footfall of walkers and the boardwalk was constructed to prevent walkers from damaging the protected blanket bog. It is important to stay on the designated path in order to protect this beautiful habitat for future generations.
The Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail really does have something for everyone. It is described as difficult so make sure you bring your walking shoes and don’t forget to bring a picnic to fuel up before you begin or you will certainly be ready for it when you have reached the bottom again.
With it being approximately 1 ½ hours from Finn Valley Cottages it really is a brilliant idea for a daytrip and you can also sneak in a trip to the Marble Arch Caves, it would be rude not to because it is just next door after all.
Florence Court can be found nearby as well, it is a National Trust property and it is a beautiful 18th Century home. It was home to the Cole family for 250 years.
Why choose to stay at Finn Valley Cottages?
Finn Valley Cottages are in such a great location, you can be in Fermanagh in a short period of time. There is plenty of space in the cottages for your walking gear and all cottages have utility rooms with the necessary appliances. It is a perfect place to come back to relax, after an eventful day exploring some of the beautiful sights Ireland has to offer.
To book your stay please visit our website at www.finnvalleycottages.com
Cuilcagh Mountain Park, Main Car Park can be found at:
43 Marlbank Road
Coordinates: 54.2585154, -7.8131323