Blacklion, Co Cavan may be well known as a border village with only a bridge separating it to Fermanagh, and as the home of Celebrity Chef Neven Maguire, but it is preparing to make a much bigger name for itself in the tourism industry.
Cavan County Council in partnership with Coillte Teoranta and Killinagh Community Development Ltd are planning to develop the Burren Forest located just outside of the village. They are seeking to develop the area part of the UNESCO Marble Arch Cave Geopark to include walking trails into the forest, an unmanned interpretive building, interpretive signage, enhancement of forest entrance and the roads leading up to the forestry. The Council are also seeking planning permission for a carpark and toilet facilities at the forest. The Council in partnership with Killinagh Community Development Ltd wish to demolish the existing extension to Market House, Main Street, Blacklion and build a two story extension in it’s place.
The Burren Forest is situated about 3kms south of Blacklion, the limestone plateau at an altitude of between 700-900 feet, is now beginning to be recognized as one of the finest relict landscapes of its size in all of Ireland. Its funereal monuments, habitation sites and fields survive from prehistoric times. Its glacial erratics survive from the last ice age while its dry valley and associated doline bear testimony to a pre-glacial river and sink. The fossils embedded in its limestone are the coral of a tropical sea of 350 million years ago.
The area hold tombs which are suggestive of a sacred space and may have served as loci for ritual deposition in prehistoric times. There are also numerous examples of Atlantic Rock Art, 160 house or hut sites and settlement features under bog. The Burren Forest walk provides excellent views of Cuilcagh Mountain, Lough McNean and on a fine day, Lough Allen in Co. Leitrim.