The walk begins on the high sandstone plateau around Lough Bradan. This remote area is close to the border with County Donegal and is dominated by blanket bog and forestry. The first part of the route travels northeast through Lough Bradan Forest to the wind farm at Lough Lee. There is a short section across open moorland to cross Bolaght Mountain, an effort that is rewarded on a clear day by some of the most far-reaching views on the Ulster Way. The panorama stretches from the Bluestack Mountains of Donegal in the west, past the distant pyramid of Errigal in the northwest, to the dome of Slieve Snaght on the Inishowen peninsula in the north and the rounded summits of the high Sperrins to the northeast. The route then descends into the Fairy Water Valley on narrow country roads. This area has an internationally important concentration of lowland raised bogs, and parts of it have been designated as an Area of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Area of Conservation and a Ramsar Site. You now climb up into the wooded southern reaches of the Baronscourt Estate, home of the Duke of Abercorn’s family since 1612. Keep an eye out for the estate’s wild herd of Japanese Sika deer, the management of which has been recognised with a Laurent Perrier Award for wild game conservation. Forest tracks take you up through the trees towards the summit of Bessy Bell, where more tremendous views can be enjoyed before you descend deep into the next valley and cross the Strule River. More country roads lead through the townland of Carrigans, where the wet mineral soils have given rise to woodland of birch, mountain ash and alder. Then, in Tattynure almost pure birch woodland can be seen growing on cut-over bog. The climbing begins in earnest again as you clamber across the western slopes of Mullaghcarn, a sprawling outlier of the main Sperrins range. Much of this travel is on the tracks of Gortin Glen Forest Park, taking you eventually to the ancient glacial breach of Gortin Gap and past Boorin National Nature Reserve to the finish in Gortin village. Please be aware that this walking route passes through areas of open land such as hillside, working farmland and working forests. Livestock may be present, ground conditions may be uneven or wet underfoot and all forestry signage should be adhered to. Please refer to the ‘Walk Safely and Responsibly’ information in the Useful Info tab above.