We decided to go to Co.Fermanagh, one of the six counties of Northern Ireland. We crossed into Northern Ireland at Blacklion and followed the signposts to the Marble Arch Caves. We had seen these spectacular caves before, so rather than visiting them again we decided to visit Cuilcagh Mountain Park. which is located approx. 1km past the Marble Arch Caves carpark. There is ample carpark space at the start of the Cuilcagh Mountain Park, there are even toilets provided. Cuilcagh Mountain Park was founded in 1998 and focussed on restoring the damaged peatland, to conserve blanket bog and raise awareness of bogland habitats. Last year also saw the opening of the new boardwalk/stairwell which makes it much easier for walkers to reach the summit of Cuilcagh summit (665m) .
Setting of on our walk, first advise is to be prepared. If you want to reach the summit of Cuilcagh mountain, you will have to walk approx. 12km along the lineair walkway. So it is advised to bring a snack, drinks and wear some decent shoes and jacket. The weather can change rapidly, and what might be a sunny day at the start of your walk might quickly turn into a rainy one. The first 3.75km is a wide bogroad which gradualy makes it's way towards Cuilcagh mountain. Setting off from the carpark, the landscape changes quickly from limestone/grasland to bog. Along the route are small signs telling you the distance to the new boardwalk. Halfway towards the mountain is an educational boardwalk which takes you through some conserved bogland. The bogcotton is abundant and waves in the wind, birds are hiding in this historic landscape and water runs through the many streams. Following on from this boardwalk, the bogroad starts gradually rising further up the mountain opening up views as far as Co.Leitrim and Enniskillen.
After approx 3.75km we had reached the new boardwalk. Where the old path ran straight through the bog, now you can walk very comfortable along the boardwalk. The boardwalk was installed to protect the rare blanket bog from erosion. After having followed the boardwalk, we reached the stairwell. We must say it is spectacular, the stairwell has been constructed straight up the mountain, making it very easy (although still some effort is required to climb all the stairs) to reach the summit. After having reached the summit, we decided to head back the same way. But if time is no constraint, you can follow the cuilcagh hikers trail towards Florence Court. This is a very popular walk since the boardwalk was installed, so weekends can be busy. So our advise is to walk the Cuilcagh Legnabrocky path during the week.