NAVIGATION

Lough Navar Forest Walks

Magho Cliffs Viewpoint

Magho Cliffs Viewpoint

Lough Navar Forest sits on the northern fringe of the west Fermanagh uplands. A vast patchwork of forestry, heathland, bog and loughs makes up one of the most stunning and scenic areas of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark. A scenic drive navigates the most dramatic areas of the forest with walking routes and viewpoints dotted throughout.

Click here to view the Lough Navar Scenic Drive Map.

Blackslee Waterfall Walk

Distance: 6.5 km                                Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Grade: Moderate/difficult                  Terrain: All types, mostly forest track

Route: Clockwise circular                  Wheelchair Friendly: No

Facilities: Car parking, picnic area, on site interpretation.

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

Click here to view the Blackslee Waterfall Walk Map.

Blackslee Waterfall

Blackslee Waterfall

This walk begins from the Aghameelan Viewpiont, where there are picturesque views over much of the Fermanagh countryside and further beyond. 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 within the surrounding countryside.

A series of linked forest tracks and paths zigzag through this forested area, however your path finally veers left. Contouring around a river bank the path leads through deep forest passing the ‘boulder field’ an area of huge sandstone boulders left behind as the ice sheets melted at the end of the last Ice Age over 13,000 years ago. Continuing uphill the path approaches Blackslee Waterfall, where water cascades over a 20 metre cliff before continuing its journey down an undercut rocky gorge. The gorge is carved from sandstones and mudstones, cross cut by a more resistant rock called dolerite, before flowing into Lower Lough Erne.

Lough Navar Lakes Walk

Distance: 7 km                                  Time: 2 hours

Grade: Moderate                               Terrain: All types, mostly forest track, some tarmac.

Route: Anti-clockwise circular       Wheelchair Friendly: No

Facilities: Car parking, picnic area, on site interpretation.

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

Click here to view the Lough Navar Lakes Walking Route Map.

Lough Achork

Lough Achork

The initial part of the walk skirts the western shoreline of Lough Meenameen. Spanning an area of 18 hectares, this fine upland lake is a popular haven for brown trout and fishermen alike. Leaving the shoreline the path disappears deep into the heart of the forest before leading to a junction where the obvious path will take you through deep corridors of planted Sitka spruce and lodge pole pine. Through the trees in the distance you may glimpse Lough Navar and on the opposite side of the track is Lough Naman, a raised bog lake. This area is designated an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) and is home to a number of interesting species of plants including bog cotton, sedges and the tiny carnivorous plant, sundew.  As you leave the forest track you will cross the Sillees River meaning “the sally Kesh River” but often referred to as the ‘Silly River’ as it winds its way erratically through the countryside before entering the River Erne near Enniskillen.

Sheltered from almost every angle is Lough Achork where a brief detour around the short looped path offers fine views of the lake and surrounding area. The walk resumes along the scenic drive past Old Man’s Head; a sandstone scarp which resembles the profile of an elderly gentleman. The feature itself is actually on an outcrop of sandstone known as Glenade Sandstone that has weathered into this shape over thousands of years. Here the flora changes to upland plants including varieties of speedwell, aquilegia, heather and scabious. The roadside verges and welcoming flowers attract butterflies such as red admiral, speckled wood and peacock.

Magho Cliffs Walk

Distance: 2 km                                  Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Grade: Moderate                               Terrain: Gravel Paths, Steep path

Route: Linear                                     Wheelchair Friendly: No

Facilities: Car parking, picnic area, on site interpretation.

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

Click here to view the Magho Cliffs & Viewpoint Walk Map.

Magho Cliffs Viewpoint

Magho Cliffs Viewpoint

The initial part of the walk takes you across the top of the Magho Cliffs offering great panoramic views of Lower Lough Erne, the Bluestack Mountains, Mullaghmore and Slieve League. At the end of this path take a moment to rest on the bench provided and soak in the tranquil atmosphere. The cliffs are an Area of Special Scientific Interest as they support an exceptional range of habitats and the abundance of wildlife is very evident, keep an eye out for Peregrine Faclons.

To continue the walk return back along the cliff top path and follow the black route way markers which will bring you down the cliff twisting and winding its way through the woodland with patches of open area providing great glimpses at the cliff escarpment. The escarpment consists of three distinct rock formations. On top is the Dartry Limestone, the same rock that the Marble Arch Caves are formed out of, and directly beneath that is the Glencar Limestone. At the very bottom of the cliff, obscured from view by scree and vegetation is the Benbulben Shale, the oldest of the three rocks. The distinctive cliffs and present day landscape are a direct result of the last glaciation, which ended around 13,000 years ago, when huge ice sheets moved across the landscape scouring out valleys and sculpting the cliffs.