Waterway Walks
Index of Walks – Lower Lough Erne 

 Adjacent Waterways . . 
    Upstream . . 
         Upper Lough Erne

Walks by Lower Lough Erne in downstream sequence:

Information on this page about the Lough Navar Forest walk is based on desk research. In the near future it is planned to include some notes based on experience of walking the route. Comments from individuals who have walked the route would be most welcome. Please send them to webmaster@iwai.ie.

Maps:

Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland, Outdoor Pursuits Series 1:25,000
– Lower Lough Erne

Ely Lodge Forest
* * * *
  Up to 10 km; 2.5 hrs;
Start: Map Lower Lough Erne H177521 or anchor at H188513
On forest tracks and lakeside paths. Forest park. 
A review of the map of Lower Lough Erne will provide numerous ideas for walks through this pleasant forest park. Carrickreagh View Point (H174520) is well worth including in a walk through the park.


Parker, Walk 3, provides further details.

Tully Castle
* * *
  2 km; 0.5 hrs;
Start: Map Lower Lough Erne H130559
On paths. Plantation castle with recently planted 17th century style gardens. 
Tully Castle is a very interesting historic site. It provides valuable insights into the history of this area. The garden is one of the most interesting close to the Shannon-Erne navigation.

After visiting the castle take the road going west for about 200 meters. Then take the path to the right and follow it to the shore. Turn right and follow the path around the headland back to the jetty.

Castle Archdale
* * * *
Up to 10 km; 2.5 hrs;
Start: Map Lower Lough Erne H181600 or H173592
On paths, forest tracks and estate roads. Country park. Historic. 
A review of the map of Lower Lough Erne will provide numerous ideas for walks through this country park. The park is a nature wonderland and is ideal for children. Features within the park include a red deer enclosure, wildfowl ponds, nature trail, butterfly garden and wildflower meadow.An excellent map of the park is available from the Information Centre. The Yellow Walk will appeal to boating folk as it passes by the marina and close to many interesting features including the Information Centre, Exhibition Centre, Castle Gardens, Bath House, Bog Garden, Deer Pen, Rare Breeds Collection, Butterfly Garden, and Wildfowl Ponds before returning along the shore to the marina.

Those interested in a slightly longer walk will enjoy the walk to the Old Castle (H186599). The castle is now in ruins. The route is shown on the Ordnance Survey Outdoor Pursuits map. The optional walk around the peninsula named Tom’s Island is well worth including in the walk.

The Exhibition Centre houses the “Castle Archdale at War” exhibition. This interesting exhibition focuses on the flying-boat station that was located at Castle Archdale during World War II.

For further information, including museum opening times, visit the Environment and Heritage Service’s Castle Archdale Country Park web page.

White Island is located close by. The ruins of an ancient church, including some interesting stone carvings, are to be found on the island. The jetty is at H176599.


Parker, Walk 5, provides further details.

Lough Navar Forest
* * * *
circular
20 km; 5.75 hrs;
Start: Map Lower Lough Erne H062582
On roads, forest tracks, and mountain paths. Partly on of the Ulster Way. Superb scenery. 
This is one of the few walks described in these pages that qualify as a hill walk. One of the highlights is the superb view from the Lough Navar view point (H061576). On a clear day it is possible to see the Sperrin mountains in Tyrone, Muckish and Errigal mountains in north Donegal, and enjoy the panoramic views over Lower Lough Erne.

Maghoo Jetty is very exposed. Hence the walk may only be approached using a cruiser as a base when the lower lake is relatively calm.

From Magho Jetty cross the road and head straight into the climb to the Lough Navar view point. Having enjoyed the view, head west along the Ulster Way to Meenameen Lough (H029561). Follow the path around the lake and head south and round Lough Navar. Then head east to the Sweathouse (H054547). Continue on the path until it joins the road. Turn left and follow the road as far as the entrance to the forest park (H074546). Follow the tracks back to the Lough Navar view point passing the Aghameelan view point on the way. Then enjoy the walk down the hill and back to the jetty.

This walk should be approached in a more serious manner than many of the less arduous walks described on these pages. Walkers who are not reasonably fit or who are not wearing strong footwear should not attempt the 250 metre climb from Magho Jetty to the Lough Navar view point. A map and compass should be taken on this walk.


Parker, Walks 7, 8, and 9 provide further details.

Castle Caldwell
* *
Up to 10 km; 2.5 hrs;
Start: Map Lower Lough Erne H014605
On paths. Forest park. Flora and fauna. 
A review of the map of Lower Lough Erne will provide ideas for lakeside walks through this pleasant forest park. The park surrounds Rossmore Bay. Many of the nearby islands are bird sanctuaries. To protect the loughside plant community a National Nature Reserve has been declared on part of the shoreline.


Parker, Walk 6, provides further details.

Other suggestions
Four three-star sites:

    • Boa Island. There are some interesting stone figures at the ancient Cladragh burial ground (H085620) on Boa Island. When we visited the island in 1994 we anchored just south of the burial ground and used the dingy to go ashore. The Shannon Guide (Delany 2000) now includes a section on the Erne Navigation. The Guide suggests an alternate approach:”. . there are quays providing access to Lusty More and Lusty Beg, with a restaurant at the latter. From here there is a ferry to Boa Island and this is the best way to approach the ancient burial ground of Cladragh where you can see the famous Janus figures.”The jetty at Lusty Beg is at H111623. From there the round-trip distance to the burial ground is about 7 km.
    • Devenish Island. The island is one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland. There is a landing point at H226471.
    • Inchmacsaint. Another one of the many monastic sites on the Erne and Shannon navigations. Of particular interest is the undecorated High Cross. There is a landing point at H167542.
    • White Island. See Castle Archdale.

These walks are included because of the interesting sites visited. Three are short.

Inish Davar. Many of the islands on Lower Lough Erne have attractive woodland paths and good wooden jetties that provide easy access for boating folk. Inish Davar is a typical example. The jetty is at H179550. From the jetty a nice fifteen minute walk takes one around the island.

Lusty Beg. Jim Murray, a regular contributor to these pages, told me about some paths around Lusty Beg, his favourite island on whole system. In June 2001 we explored these paths. From the jetty (H111622) we walked northwest to the ferry terminal. From there we headed west. The path stays close to the northern shore of the island and takes one to the westernmost tip of the island (H101619). From there we retraced our steps to where a path takes one to the southern shore and from there back to the starting point. At the time of our visit sections of the path were not in good condition. Hopefully they will be put back in good order. The walk took about forty-five minutes.

Belleek. Jim also suggests that there may be a circular walk north of Belleek toward Ballyshannon. Another item on the ‘to be researched’ list.

On Boa island