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Cuilcagh Way - Walk 2 Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail

The route meanders through one of the largest expanses of blanket bog in Northern Ireland, traversing over farm tracks, boardwalk and mountain path. A steep climb is required to reach the 666 metre summit of Cuilcagh Mountain. Marked blue on the attached map. The Cuilcagh Way is part of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark.

County

Fermanagh

Distance

4.6 miles

OS Map

Sheet 26 (1:50 000)

Nearest Town

Belcoo

Route Shape

Linear

Route Type

Mountain

Terrain

gravel track, boardwalk, bogland

Grid Reference (Start)

H121335

Grid Reference (End)

H123280

Point of Interest

Cuilcagh Mountain

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Fermanagh

Route Description

The Cuilcagh Way is a waymarked route that stretches for 33km through a breath taking patchwork of habitats in southern Fermanagh. The route can be walked in sections and provides stunning views, fascinating geology, mystifying wildlife, captivating archaeology and natural history: enough to whet anyone’s appetite for adventure. The Cuilcagh Legnagbrocky Trail is a linear route which will appeal to walkers with some experience walking in the hills. The route is quite isolated and showcases the scenic wilderness of Cuilcagh Mountain. The trail meanders along a quiet farmland track before traversing a wooden boardwalk that consists of a steady climb to the mountain face. Here a stepped boardwalk climbs through steep terrain and boulders fields before reaching the summit plateau. A rough mountain path negotiates the wild summit plateau for a few kilometres before reaching an ancient cairn (the remains of a burial mound dating from the Bronze Age 2,500 – 500 BC) that stands at 666 metres (2,182 ft) above sea level. The imposing mountain flanks of Cuilcagh give this walk a very atmospheric feeling providing breathing views, the most impressive view is of Lough Atona, a lake nestled at the foot of the mountain which was carved out by the glacier during the last Ice Age approximately 13,000 years ago

 

Please be aware……………..

• It is important to choose a route that suits everybody in your group. You are strongly recommended to walk Cuilcagh Mountain with OSNI or OSNI Discover Series map 1:50,000 Sheet 26 available in most shops and Visitor Information Centres.

• Weather conditions on Cuilcagh Mountain can be quick to change & inhospitable all year round making way finding difficult in poor visibility at any time of the year.

• Equip yourself for walking in a mountainous area, waterproof clothing, boots, spare clothing, map, compass, first aid, food, drink etc.

• Carry a map and stay to the way marked trail. 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 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 to the designated path in order to protect this beautiful habitat for future generations.

Getting to the Start (by Car)

Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail in the Cuilcagh Mountain Car Park, Marlbank Road.

(Follow the signs for the Marble Arch Caves Visitor Centre from Enniskillen)
Take the A4 Sligo Road from Enniskillen. Turn left onto the A32 Swanlinbar Road. Turn right onto the Marble Arch road. Turn left, still following the signs for the Marble Arch visitor centre. Along this narrow road, there will be a sign on your left hand side for the Cuilcagh Mountain Park. This is where you should start your walk.

Dogs

Dogs are not allowed.

Accessibility Grade

Grade 5

Facilities

Facilities are available at the nearby Marble Arch Caves visitor centre and Florencecourt House.

Publication

Cuilcagh Way A Walker's Guide

Publication Availability

Available from Marble Arch Caves or Fermanagh Visitor Information Centre

Walk Location
Map of Northern Ireland
 
Image Gallery

Ratings and Comments

★★★★★
Tom 24 January, 2017 @ 13:23

Completed this on 22 January 2017. Outstanding, awesome, magnificent - certainly one of the best walks in NI. The boardwalk and steps allow for access by so many. Social media seems to have had a positive impact on this also as we must have encountered sevaral hundered people on the mountain (90% of whom were in the 18-25 bracket several of whom said they had seen it on Facebook - great to see). Downside - carparking - with so many folk out, cars were parked for over a mile beyond the entrance. Food for thought perhaps.

★★★★★
MAPB 18 December, 2016 @ 12:07

Great morning out 3-4 hours walk bring a flask or juice/water for journey and at the top. Lovely view good for the mind body and soul lol??. Would strongly agree with Paul's comments re this project. Saw a family walking along with three teenage boys alldiscussing their education, careers great to see family bonding in the technological era. SO GET UP AND WALK CUILACH U CAN REWARD YOURSELF WITH AN ICE-CREAM AFTER! We did??.

★★★★★
Noelle 28 August, 2016 @ 09:17

Great me and my family loved it and we climbed it on a very hot day. Some of my family got very tired walking up it but walking down no bother to any of us. Very long 3-4 hrs

★★★★★
Paul 27 August, 2016 @ 22:28

A fabulous walk thoroughly enjoyed by myself, wife, daughter (11) and son (5). We are not experienced hill walkers and hadn't walked Cuilcagh before. Tough enough wee trek and well chuffed that my kids were able to reach the summit..... Especially the wee man. The views are spectacular when you get to the top. Must say, Ciaran's comments are badly misguided. The SOLE reason the boardwalk was installed was to PROTECT the blanket bog. It is a consequential by-product that the boardwalk enables many more people to access the top of this exquisite mountain. We got to the top and back in just over 3 hours.

★★★★★
Brian 15 August, 2016 @ 22:02

Wife and I completed this walk Mon 15th Aug 2016. What a wonderful day Beautiful weather Fantastic panoramic views. Got to the Cairn and back safely. Tired but very happy Senior Citizens. Highly recommend.

★★★★★
Ralph 7 August, 2016 @ 11:26

Completed the walk yesterday and it was fantastic! Brilliant insight and brave decision by the Council to construct the boardwalk - Ciaran's rant is ridiculous, especially as he lauds the walk, but not the steps? One leads onto the other; they are one and the same route and have been designed to get folks to the summit safely. There are abundant notices about the weather closing in and the risks of being ill-equipped. Any walk in the hills comes with the same health warnings - people have to be allowed to take risks and make their own choices. By the way, if you are lucky enough to get to the top and the cairn, and on a clear day like yesterday, you've made your own 'luck' - the views are truly wonderful and spectacular; and worth every step of the way...

★★★★★
Declan Gorman 31 May, 2016 @ 21:00

Just being reading CIaran s shock/horror re the staircase.Very typical purist,leave it alone the way I want it and do not let others enjoy an alternative way of seeing the panoramic beauty of natures creation,not even as far as the top of the staircase.Keep them on the bottom on a platform looking up at the pure hill walker in his stride!

★★★★★
Admin 2 March, 2016 @ 11:49

From Fermanagh and Omagh District Council:

Re Comment submitted on 15th Jan 2016, boardwalk on Cuilcagh Mountain - The reason the boardwalk was constructed on Cuilcagh was to protect the European Listed Priority Habitat of Blanket Bog in the Cuilcagh Special Area of Conservation, from being damaged by footfall. Providing enhanced access to Cuilcagh was never a consideration at any time. With reference to the staircase – taking into consideration the steep gradient of the mountain it was necessary from a health and safety perspective to step the boardwalk on the steeper climbs thereby reducing the slippage risk for users. Furthermore, from an engineering perspective you will notice that due to the natural undulating nature of the ground, there can be quite a drop from board to bog and so again, for the health and safety of patrons a handrail was necessary. Nonetheless, Council does appreciate the boardwalk has attracted a lot of under prepared / inexperienced walkers to ascend the mountain. While it is great to see people out enjoying their natural environment where they wouldn’t necessarily have before, it does bring associated risks. Council has taken reasonable care to warn walkers of likely hazards that may be encountered on a mountain environment. Safety advice has been published in associated walking guides and interpretation panels for Cuilcagh. The Council is also working with other agencies to educate users of the Countryside on best practice and sensible safety measures. FODC are engaging with the Department of the Environment to review this matter and to see if any changes / improvements are required.

★★★☆☆
Ciaran vesey 15 January, 2016 @ 13:41

I completed the CuilcaghWay early in 2014 and enjoyed it so much I vowed to return ASAP. Definitely a 5 star walk! However,to my horror, on my return in summer 2015,on my approach to the mountain itself I was confronted by an ugly scar on its flank.

When closer I discovered this disfigurement to be a monstrous wooden staircase(with handrails!) The stepped sections,and the 450 steps staircase,covering the final 100metres ascent. Including the boardwalk (which was badly needed) this violation of Cuilcagh cost £250,000 (courtesy of Europe)

The boardwalk was a necessary upgrade to facilitate safe access to this "area of outstanding natural beauty,"while protecting the blanket bog. It's boards will weather with time and blend in with the landscape. The stepped sections, and the intrusive and incongruous staircase,will remain as a Folly for future generations.

I also believe this Folly constitutes a potentially serious health and safety threat to inexperienced and ill prepared walkers.It provides easy access to the expansive mountain plateau with all it's inherent dangers. These include rough terrain,sheer drops on much of its flanks,sink holes and the prospect of rapidly deteriorating weather conditions. All potentially fatal for the unsuspecting novice walker.

In conclusion I reiterate my firm belief that the erection of the staircase was a misguided and rapacious assault on the integrity of one of this island's finest mountains. I implore those entrusted with it's care to consider, at least, the removal of the staircase and replacing it with a viewing platform near the base.

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