Some of Ulster’s counties have stunning coasts, while others have the province’s highest mountains. County Fermanagh is Lakeland country, with its 40 miles of crystal clear waters. Linking these sights is the Ulster Way, a 625-mile long-distance path through some of the best landscapes the province has to offer. You can get a feel for the Ulster Way by tackling part of a shorter circular section around Lough Navar Forest, part of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark.
On the up
Starting at the entrance to Lough Navar Forest, head north-east along the forest road through an avenue of conifers – the road rises steeply and opens out into mixed woodland and open hillside.
After less than a mile you reach the first major viewpoint at Aghameelan, providing views east and south-east towards Lough Erne and County Cavan. There is a car park here and toilets, which are open in the summer months only. A steep path behind the car park leads to the viewpoint.
Cliffs of Magho
From here the forest road continues to rises steeply. Look out for deer and red squirrels as you walk. At a junction, turn right to follow the road past a lough and continue on to the viewpoint at the Cliffs of Magho. Here a series of large stones have been laid out in the form of a compass. On a clear day there are stunning views over Lower Lough Erne towards Slieve League and Donegal Bay, the Bluestack Mountains and the Sperrins.
Leaving the Ulster Way
With the highest point of the walk behind, return to the junction and turn right. Departing from the route of the Ulster Way, follow the road through spruce and pine woods to the rocky outcrop known as the Old Man’s Head.
A little further down the hill is Lough Achork, which is the source of the Sillees River. Near the exit of the forest and just before a gate near a large farm building, there is a small track leading to the left and uphill towards a lodge. Passing through the gate and bearing right, you reach Glennasheevar Road. Turn left on to the road and follow it back to the start.