Cuilcagh is a well established location for hillwalkers with a network of trails that lead you in and around the Mountain Park. If reaching the summit is not for you, venturing some way into the park using one of the walking routes will give you a taste of the beauty that can be found there.
The trail to the summit of Cuilcagh crosses a number of distinct habitats, first limestone, then the extensive blanket bog and finally after a tumble of rocks the steep cliff to the summit.
At the beginning of the trail look to your right at the Monastir Gorge and notice the yew clinging to its precipitous sides and juniper beside the path. These were the first tree species to colonise Ireland at the end of the last Ice Age some 10,000 years ago. The vegetation colour dramatically changes from green to brown where the trail leaves the limestone and heads across the peat of the blanket bog, now cross-leaved heather, bog cotton and yellow bog asphodel are abudant and insectivorous sundew can be found on bare peat.
Meadow pipits, skylarks and hen harriers occur in this area while golden plover breed in small numbers on the bog. The steep north-facing scarp below the summit plateau itself, have arctic-apline plants: starry saxifrage, three species of clubmoss, mountain willow and Bigelows's edge. Foxes and Irish hares are frequently seen and in winter snow buntings have been recorded.
The Cuilcagh Way is a waymarked 20 miles/33km route. The more popular Legnabrocky section, which will bring you to the summit and back and offers stunning views of the area, is a linear walk of 9 miles/15km which takes around 5 hours.
265 hectare site containing internationally important areas of pristine blanket bog, home to several rare or endangered species of plants and birds. Hill walking available in the Park along the Legnabrocky Trail to the summit of the mountain (return journey takes at least 6 hours). Interpretative exhibition housed in the Marble Arch Caves Visitors Centre. Open 7 days a week Mar – end Sept and by appointment during office hours outside these dates. Park open all year. Facilities/services include education service, including guided field studies, exhibition, audiovisual presentation, Geopark corner, cafe, picnic sites and car parking.
Open all year round
Cuilcagh Mountain Park