NAVIGATION

Ely Lodge Forest

Carrickreagh Jetty Walk

Carrickreagh Jetty Walk

Carrickreagh Jetty Walk

Ely Lodge Forest was once part of the demesne of the Marquis of Ely, Nicholas Loftus. The lodge was one of two gatehouses to the Ely Estate, which was the largest in County Fermanagh during Victorian times. This is a delightful accessible for all trail that skirts the shoreline of Lower Lough Erne, picnic facilities and resting areas along the walk provide an enjoyable day out for all.

Click here to view the Ely Lodge Forest Walks Map

Information

Distance: 2 km Time: 40 minutes

Grade: Easy Terrain, accessible for all path

Route: Linear

Wheelchair Friendly: Yes

Facilities: Car parking, picnic area.

Map: Discoverer Series OSNI Sheet 17 Lower Lough Erne; Activity Map OSNI Upper and Lower Lough Erne

Grid Reference: IH 178 515

Description

The path meanders through the forest which is alive with green foliage and the undergrowth glows a vibrant green, with moss, wood sorrel and ferns carpeting the ground beneath the trees. Added to these surroundings are areas where the forest opens to provide glimpses of Lower Lough Erne and its surroundings. Take a moment to look at the Crannog, Inish Lougher and Inish Fovar Islands, which are directly opposite the shoreline, these islands and the surrounding shore, are an important area for a variety of wild fowl and water birds. The great crested grebe, mute swan, grey heron and a variety of ducks are often spotted in the area. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) undertake conservation work on the islands to monitor and protect the bird population.

Ely Lodge Shoreline

Ely Lodge Shoreline

Continuing along the path you will reach Carrickreagh Jetty (do not allow children to proceed unattended), here you can take an opportunity to enjoy the panoramic views from the lake and on a calm day the mirror reflections on the lough are quite breathtaking.

Carrickreagh Viewpoint Walk

This walking route is mostly along forest tracks and offers stunning landscapes and views of Lower Lough Erne. The outlook from the viewpoint within Ely Lodge Forest is spectacular with views over the Bluestack Mountains of County Donegal to the North and the Sperrin Mountains to the West.

Information

Distance: 2.4 km Time: 40 minutes

Grade: Easy Terrain: All types, mostly forest track.

Route: Anti-clockwise circular

Wheelchair Friendly: No

Facilities: Car parking, picnic area.

Map: Discoverer Series OSNI Sheet 17 Lower Lough Erne; Activity Map OSNI Upper and Lower Lough Erne

Grid Reference: IH 178 515

Description

Ely Lodge Forest sweeps up from the shores of Lower Lough Erne, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the UK and Ireland. The path fringes the shoreline of the lake before crossing a public road to begin a gradual but steady climb to Carrickreagh viewpoint. Follow the path uphill through mature woodland where beech, ash, larch, oak, holly and elder are prolific. The woodland is most spectacular during early May and in late October when the broadleaf trees are at their most colourful.

Lower Lough Erne

Lower Lough Erne

On reaching Carrickreagh viewpoint you can appreciate the true beauty of this vast inland lake. The seemingly peaceful setting discourages the notion that it was once the focus of intense flying operations during the Second World War. Sunderland and Catalina flying boats from RAF Castle Archdale, now the Castle Archdale Country Park, journeyed up Lower Lough Erne en route to patrol the North Atlantic Ocean. Today, Ely Lodge Forest provides a tranquil valuable habitat for woodland mammals such as badgers, foxes, pine martens and a healthy population of red squirrels.

Ely Lodge Lough Shore Walk

The Loughshore Walk path takes you through 250 hectares of woodland containing a delightful mixture of coniferous and broadleaved trees. The conifers are mainly European larch, which is uncommon as they loose their needles in autumn.This area has been identified as an important habitat for red squirrels and is promoted by the Fermanagh Red Squirrel Group as a Red Squirrel Trail.

Information

Distance: 2 km Time: 40 minutes

Grade: Easy Terrain: Gravel path and forest track.

Route: Clockwise circular

Wheelchair Friendly: No

Facilities: Car parking, picnic area.

Map: Discoverer Series OSNI Sheet 17 Lower Lough Erne; Activity Map OSNI Upper and Lower Lough Erne

Grid Reference: IH 178 515

Description

Skirting the shoreline of Lower Lough Erne the walk offers views of Inish Lougher Island all the way over to Ely Lodge Estate. Lower Lough Erne and its surrounding landscape are a direct result of the last Ice Age, which ended around 13,000 years ago. Huge ice sheets moved across the land, sculpting the hills and islands we see around us and scouring out valleys, which gradually filled with water to form lakes such as Lough Erne.

Red Squirrel, Colin Beacom

Red Squirrel, Colin Beacom

The lake and surrounding forest are home to an array of wildlife. The great crested grebe, mute swan, grey heron and a variety of ducks are often spotted along the shoreline. Also deep within the forest you may glimpse the elusive pine marten, hedgehogs, foxes and red squirrels.  This area has been identified as an important habitat for red squirrels and is promoted by the Fermanagh Red Squirrel Group as a Red Squirrel Trail.