Discover The Geopark
Cavan Burren Park
Cavan Burren Park is a mythical, spiritual landscape of monuments, megalithic tombs, hut sites and pre-bog walls all of which survive from pre-historic times and are located within metres of each other. The Park offers stunning views of Cuilcagh Mountain, West Cavan and the greater Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark. A new visitor centre interpreting the archaeological, geological and cultural history of Cavan Burren Park opened in May 2014. Enjoy the five walking trails including one multi-access trail as well as picnic facilities, coach parking, toilet facilities and interpretation of archaeological and geological attractions.
Where is Cavan Burren Park? Just off the N16 Enniskillen – Sligo road outside the village of Blacklion in West Cavan (follow the signs for Cavan Burren Park). Take the N16 Sligo Road out of Blacklion. Just before you leave the village take a road to the left signposted ‘Cavan Burren’. Follow the signs from here for approximately 4km until you reach Cavan Burren Park. The site is opened all year round and admission is free. Click here for google maps.
There are superb examples of megalithic tombs in Cavan Burren Park including wedge and portal tombs, dating from the Neolithic Period. A great number of archaeological riches have been found here including ancient huts, relict field walls, a promontory fort, cist graves and ‘modified boulder’ monuments. Many examples of prehistoric rock art have also been identified. All of these features combine to make Cavan Burren Park one of the finest integrated prehistoric landscapes in Ireland.
Natural geological features such as a relict river bed (Giant’s Leap) and associated dolines and sinkholes across the Lost Valley, where the river sank and disappeared underground, further demonstrate how the pre-glacial landscape may once have looked. This combination of natural and built heritage makes Cavan Burren Park a unique and very special attraction – a ‘relict’ or fossilised landscape in every sense.
Although there is much interpretation around Cavan Burren Park to help you understand what you see, your visit will be enhanced by a Geopark guide who will further interpret and bring to life the landscape around you. Jim Nolan 00353 71 985 3299 and Bee Smith, Irish Blessings Tours 00353 87 902 7354 are available to guide you. Booking is essential and cost is €20 per hour.
There are five walking trails at Cavan Burren which will take you through this unique landscape of high geological and archaeological value. All trails start from the interpretative centre;
- Trail1 – The Calf-House Dolmen Trail (multi-access)
- Trail 2 – The Giant’s Leap Trail
- Trail 3 – The Promontory Fort Trail
- Trail 4 – The Tullygobbin Lough Trail starts from the lower end of the car park
- Trail 5 – The Cavan Way Trail forms park of the longer Cavan Waymarked Way (26km) route which enters Cavan Burren Park on trail 2.
Trail 1 – The Calf House Dolmen Trail (1.2km)
Multi- access trail with 360 degree views across the surrounding landscape. This trail provides easy access to many of the important features of this relict landscape.
Trail start point – Interpretative Centre Car Park Duration – Approx. 35mins / 25metre climb
Features include; Tulygobbin Wedge Tomb, Tullygobbin viewpoint, Lost Valley viewpoint, Calf-House Dolmen tomb, Old farmstead, Glacial Erratics, Karst Limestone, Dolines and Sinkholes.
Trail 2 – The Giant’s Leap Trail (2.5km)
Bog bridge steps and gravel path surfaces. View one of the most intact megalithic wedge tombs in Ireland. Fantastic views across the surrounding landscape.
Trail start point – Interpretative Centre Car Park Duration – Approx. 50mins on bog-bridge and gravel path terrain with a 35metre climb
Features include; Giant’s Leap Wedge Tomb, Limekiln, Lost Valley, Giant’s Leap dry valley and a wide variety of biodiversity.
Trail 3 – The Promontory Fort Trail (2.8km)
Includes bog bridge steps and gravel path surface and guides the visitor through the tranquil Lost Valley past a promontory fort. Fantastic views across the surrounding landscape.
Trail start point – Interpretative Centre Car Park Duration – Approx. 1hour on Bog-bridge, steps and gravel path terrain with a 65metre climb
Features include; Lost valley, Promontory Fort, Sinkholes, Relict farm walls and Glacial Erratics .
Trail 4 – Tullygobbin Lough Trail (1.6km)
Gravel path surface through past the biodiverse rich Tullygobbin Lough. Fantastic views across the surrounding landscape.
Trail start point – Interpretative Centre Bottom Car Park Duration – Approx. 45mins on Gravel path terrain with a 15metre climb
Features include; Tullygobbin Lough, Desiccated Sandstone, Biodiversity and Glacial Erratics.
Trail 5 – The Cavan Waymarked Way
The Cavan Way walking route enters the forest on Trail 2 through Giant’s Leap dry valley onto Trail 4 before exiting Cavan Burren Park towards Carrickterrim Special Area of Conservation (SAC) towards the village of Blacklion.
Maps and information are available at the Centre. All features are widely interpreted inside the centre and along all walking routes across Cavan Burren Park. Visit the Market House Tourist Office in the centre of Blacklion for more information on Cavan Burren and the Geopark.