The Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail (Stairway to Heaven) route meanders through one of the largest expanses of blanket bog in Northern Ireland, traversing over tracks, boardwalk and staircase.
A steep climb is required to reach the viewing platform which provides breathtaking views of the surrounding low lands.
The first part of the walk passes through a fascinating limestone landscape, often referred to as “The Fertile Rock” due to its flower-rich pastures. Visible along the trail you will see abandoned Irish cottages, dry stone walls and potato cultivation ridges (“lazy beds”) all remnants of Ireland’s past heritage.
Continuing along the gravel vehicle track the landscape starts to change to blanket bog where the unmistakable, flat-topped ridge of Cuilcagh Mountain is visible in the horizon. In the spring, an abundance of bog cotton carpets the bog in a blanket of white, while in late summer the purple moor grass glistens with shades of red and purple.
After 4km, you start your ascent of Cuilcagh Mountain. The way is negotiated by a section of boardwalk, providing protection to the sensitive blanket bog beneath. If you’re fortunate you may catch a glimpse of a red grouse. The bird’s most obvious features are its plump shape, white eyelids with bright pinkish-red combs above, and feathered legs and feet. They stay on the heath all year round eating the short, succulent shoots of heather.
Your final ascent is via a steep section of steps, these are not for the faint of heart! As you steadily climb you meander and weave your way through a rugged boulder landscape to eventually reach the viewing platform. The viewing platform positioned precariously at the edge of the mountain plateau offers breathtaking views over the surrounding landscape and an opportunity to take a well-deserved rest before starting your descent.
If you wish to pre-book parking please go to theboardwalk.ie
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