Discover The Geopark

Carrigan Forest

Carrigan Forest is situated approximately 12km outside the village of Derrygonnelly. It is the gateway between two significant expanses of upland forest, tucked between Big Dog Forest and Ballintempo Forest. Carrigan Forest showcases a landscape rich in limestone features. The tranquil shoreline of Lough Formal, which is fed by a resurgence (spring) provides a great location for taking in the views of the hills Formal More and Formal Beg which flank the western shore of the lake. These two distinctive hills, are made up of a resistant limestone that originally formed over 300 million years ago as a mound of lime-mud at the bottom of an ancient sea-floor.

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A walker looks onto Lough Formal with Formal More and Formal Beg in the background

The most intriguing feature in the forest is Lough Formal, sitting at 240 metres above sea level this small mountain lake sits astride a fault (or crack) in the Earth`s crust. No longer active, this fault moved two very different rock types (limestone and sandstone) beside each other and these now make up the bed of the lake.

The long distance walking route, the Ulster Way and Lough Formal walk traverse through Carrigan Forest. On-site facilities include picnic areas, interpretation and car parking.