Discover The Geopark
Lough Navar Forest
Lough Navar Forest is undoubtedly one of the jewels in the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark. Located approximately 5km outside the village of Derrygonnelly, this spectacular forest extends across 2,600 hectares of bog; heath; open water; native woodland; and coniferous forest. The forest is rich in natural and historical antiquities and is owned by the Forest Service of Northern Ireland. The forest boasts a network of walking trails of varying length and a 10km scenic drive leading to one of the best views in Ireland. It is hardly surprising that this forest is a mecca for walkers, fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts.
Carrick Lough Viewpoint is located at the entrance to Lough Navar Forest. A short walk from the car park takes you through open forest to a viewing area from which Carrick Lough can be seen. Also visible from here are the remains of an ancient Crannog, which can be described as a artificially made small island farmstead. The name “Crannog” derives from the Irish Crann (a tree), probably because the foundations of the island would have been a network of tree trunks. It dates back to the Late Bronze Age and Early Christian Times. It may also have been used for protection against enemy tribes or wild animals
Aghameelan Viewpoint provides picturesque views over much of the Fermanagh countryside and beyond into County Cavan. A patchwork of bog, heath, limestone grasslands and open water are clearly visible. Knockmore Cliff, which is comprised of Carboniferous limestone, is a dominant feature of the landscape to the south. Evidence of Ireland’s glacial past is also clearly visible in the many drumlin hills dotted around the surrounding countryside.
A walk begins from the Aghameelan car park and leads to the Blackslee Waterfall, where water cascades over a 20 metre cliff before continuing its journey down an undercut rocky gorge.
The Magho Cliffs are a 9km long limestone escarpment dominating the southern shore and skyline of Lower Lough Erne on the northern edge of Lough Navar Forest. The spectacular view is arguably one of the most dramatic on the island of Ireland. At a height of 300 metres, the viewpoint offers a bird’s eye view across the lake far into counties Fermanagh, Sligo, Tyrone and Donegal and even as far as the Wild Atlantic Way. The viewpoint is popular with visitors attracting many artists, photographers, bird watchers and walkers. A footpath climbing from the bottom of the 300 metre high cliffs provides a challenging experience that every visitor should try!
Meenameen Lough and the surrounding lakes of Lough Navar, Lough Naman and Lough Achork illustrate why Fermanagh is known as the Lakeland county. Lough Achork, the smallest of the upland lakes situated within Lough Navar Forest, is accessed via a looped path that hugs its shore line.
The area is predominately a coniferous forest planted with Sitka Spruce and Lodge Pole Pine with large expanses of raised bog surrounding the lakes. Meenameen Lough and Lough Achork are open to anglers with fishing permits and are well populated with good stocks of brown trout. The Lough Navar Lakes walk, which encapsulates all four lakes, starts from Meenameen Lough. This walk skirts the western shore line of Lough Meenameen before disappearing deep into the heart of the forest and passing by Lough Navar and Lough Naman before branching off to loop the shore line of Lough Achork.
The Old Man’s Head is a strange rock outcrop that has been shaped over the centuries by wind and rain.
The area offers fine views of the lake and distant rugged crags, whilst the site tucked away within the coniferous plantation is a tranquil haven attracting mallards, mute swans and herons. Lough Achork is the source of the famous Sillees River which runs through the nearby Correl Glen to eventually join Lough Erne near Enniskillen.