The Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail near Belcoo, Co. Fermanagh has gotten very popular over the last couple of years, not only for its famous “steps to heaven” photographs on social media, but also for the wonderful bogland habitat it traverses, and great views of the surrounding areas of Cavan and Fermanagh.
I had been on the Cuilcagh boardwalk trail before, but my husband Ronan hadn’t, so we headed out on a sunny Saturday morning in September to complete this 4.3 miles/7-kilometre walk.
We arrived at the private car park and paid £5 for parking on arrival. The walk takes about two-three hours, depending on your pace, and whether you take a break at the top. There are no toilet facilities on-site, so the facilities at Marble Arch Caves would be the nearest, this is about a mile away from the car park entrance.
The Cuilcagh trail starts on a gravel path that has a gradual incline and a few small hills too. It is advisable to bring good walking shoes with grip for this terrain, and plenty of layers, as the weather here can be quite changeable. Although sunny, it was very windy on the day we did the walk, and it made it a bit more difficult for us on the way up, so we were glad to have brought layers with us.
The views of Cavan and Fermanagh from the gravel path are beautiful on a good clear day, and there are some viewing points along the way, we made plenty of stops on the way up to rest and admire the wonderful views.
Once you get to the boardwalk it is a 1 mile /1.6-kilometre walk to the top and it includes quite a few steep steps. The trick is to take your time and have plenty of breaks along the way if needed. We stopped and enjoyed some spectacular views of the mountain above and the landscape below.
At the top of the steps, we were rewarded with even more wonderful vistas from the viewing platform and stopped off here to have some packed lunch, before making our descent.
Cuilcagh is a great outdoor activity to be done with your friends or family, and we will do it again ourselves, although next time we might go on a quieter weekday with less congestion.
So if you’re thinking of doing this walk, the most important things to keep in mind are to check the weather beforehand, wear proper walking shoes, bring plenty of clothing layers, water and snacks and finally take your time on the steps and enjoy the views.