The ‘Great Wall’ on Cuilcagh mountain

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A wooden boardwalk covering 1.6km of Cuilcagh Mountain has been hailed as the local equivalent to the “Great Wall.”

A wooden boardwalk covering 1.6km of Cuilcagh Mountain has been hailed as the local equivalent to the “Great Wall.”

Cuilcagh Mountain which is shared between counties Fermanagh and Cavan and rises just minutes away from the Leitrim border is now accessible to more walkers following an innovative boardwalk which makes the difficult terrain easier to access and helps protect the blanket bog from any hiking damage.

The project, which includes a 120 stepped section leading to the mountain staircase, which itself has 450 steps over 36 flights of steps, brought together a specialist construction method as well as a highly protected timber design and funding from Europe to help cover the £250,000 cost.

The boardwalk, which is on the Fermanagh side, is a further development of the Geopark which includes the Marble Arch Caves, Shannon Pot and the Cavan Burren. The area attracts thousands of visitors each year to enjoy the unique landscape features.

The area is botanically rich with diverse species of birds, plants and insects and the new boardwalk floats over the land allowing it to flourish and visitors to enjoy it.

The workers, who started late last summer, had to endure some extreme weather conditions to complete the project during a time of year which was the dormant season for most species.

Because of the special circumstances for this project, the boardwalk is short listed for a national construction industry award. Treated redwood timber has been used throughout the project to withstand the difficult weather conditions.

Despite this new easier managed route, it is recommended that walkers allow up to five hours for the complete return journey.

The Cuilcagh roadway which had been constructed and is affectionately known as “Sheridan’s Track,” was completed after flash floods entered the cave system and was believed to have resulted from machine harvesting of peat. With co-operation from local landowners and new restrictions on farming practices, the result has seen protection for this delicate environment.