Cuilcagh Mountain, Ireland’s answer to the stairway to heaven, is located approximately 2 hours drive from Dublin, in the countryside town of Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. The trail is approximately 7.5km, and is an easy enough walk that the whole family can enjoy.
We drove up on the Saturday morning of the August bank holiday. Just pop it into google maps and it will bring you all the way there – no messing around! It took us just under 2 hours and we were actually so surprised with how few people were there. There is a car park at that start of the trail, which costs €5 for the day. We parked in the first car parking area however, there is a car park much closer to the trail for anyone who wants to cut down the walk!
While the trail is about 7.5km in total, it didn’t really feel like it was that long. Part of the Cuilcagh trail is on a dirt path, the majority on a boardwalk and then the end of the trail is a series of steps up to the top of the viewpoint. While I would say it is quite an easy walk, there did seem to be a few red faces and people left breathless, so I guess it really depends on your fitness level.
The climb is quite steep in parts, and this did leave my ankles feeling a little bit sore on the way back to the car. So, keep that in mind when choosing your footwear! There were a good few people in hiking boots, but to be honest I don’t think that is necessary at all.
The best part of the trail is the view at the top, so don’t give up before walking up the steps at the end. Even if you can make it half way up them, you will be able to see the winding road below and just how far you made it!
Things To Do Nearby
Once we finished the walk, we headed back to the car and hit the road to Enniskillen town. Here we stopped for lunch in a recently refurbished restaurant called The Bush Bar & Bistro. The food was good – not amazing – but I think it had only been open a few days. Another place we looked at but couldn’t get a reservation for was Dollakis – which serves traditional Greek food and looked really nice.
The town was really busy but we enjoyed having a little stroll around to see what was going on. We got coffee in one of the many cafés nearby and hit the road back to Dublin. It was a really enjoyable day all in all and I would seriously recommend it to anyone looking for a nice day trip outside of the city.
- Dogs are not allowed on the trail, so to avoid disappointment don’t bring them on the journey.
- Parking is €5 for the whole day, and be sure to have cash
- They use pounds sterling in County Fermanagh. While some places take euro (in the carpark for example) you will be charged more for this. So, to avoid any issues, its worth your while having £20-40 with you for the day.
- The mobile reception in the area is pretty poor, so if you are part of a group try and stay close enough together