The Cladagh Glen Walk is a waymarked linear route through the striking landscape of the Cladagh Glen National Nature Reserve.
Please visit the Getting to the Start by car section below to see the two options for the walk. The description is written for persons starting the walk from Option 1: Cladagh Glen car park.
Following the course of the river, this walking route takes you through a narrow, steep-sided limestone gorge that is thickly covered by an ancient ash woodland. Though it was once widespread, this sort of damp ash woodland is now rare in Ireland and the entire gorge is protected under the Marlbank Area of Special Scientific Interest. It is also now part of the Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark.
This walk captivates you as you stroll along the gravel path whilst the river gurgles and splashes on its journey towards the Erne lowlands. The undergrowth glows a vibrant green, with moss and woodland ferns carpeting the ground beneath the native trees. A profusion of bluebells, wild garlic and woodland plants add colour during the spring and summer, while elusive animals like red squirrels and pine martens scavenge in the undergrowth.
After approx. 1mile you pass the Cascades Waterfall, a spring in the limestone where crystal clear water can be seen gushing down a natural staircase, after re-emerging from the Cascades cave system.
At the head of the gorge the path reaches the Marble Arch, a spectacular natural archway that spans the river, a remnant of a former cave. A stepped boardwalk (steep gradient) then takes you up and over the Marble Arch, where craggy holes in the limestone offer glimpses of the turbulent river beneath.
Leaving the river, the path winds slowly uphill through deep woodland. The woodland has several large depressions (shake holes) where the sound of gurgling water provides evidence of the network of underground rivers making their journey through the Marble Arch Caves beneath your feet.
The trail continues to the Marble Arch Caves Visitor Centre, where you can enjoy a guided tour of one of Europe’s finest show caves or recharge your batteries in Marble Arch Café (Open Mid-March to November) before starting your return trip back down the Cladagh Glen.
The habitat in this area is fragile and we kindly request that walkers respect the environment and do not stray from the designated route and paths. Your cooperation with this is appreciated.
- It is important to choose a walk that suits everyone in your group.
- Be aware that mobile reception in the area is poor.
- In an Emergency: call 999 or 101 and ask for Mountain Rescue.
Did You Know?
The Cladagh Glen takes its name from the Cladagh River which is formed in the depths of the Marble Arch Caves when the Owenbrean, Shruhcroppa and Aghinrawn Rivers come together. The Cladagh River re-emerges from its underground journey at the Marble Arch Rising to make its way winding and twisting down through the narrow steep sided gorge of the Cladagh Glen.
Getting to the Start (by Car)
There are two options for parking for the Cladagh Glen Walk.
Cladagh Glen car park. This car park is located along the Florencecourt to Blacklion Road. There is a signpost for the car park which is located on the road verge. This car park is free and open all year round. The car park can facilitate cars approximately 10 max.
The Marble Arch Caves Visitor Centre car park is provided for visitors to the show cave only (March – October). This is a seasonal car park and is only open during the operation hours of the Visitor Centre. Please note: Outside the operation hours this car park is locked.
How to get here
Follow the signs for the Marble Arch Caves Visitor Centre/Florencecourt from Enniskillen.
Take the A4 Sligo Road from Enniskillen. Turn left onto the A32 Swanlinbar Road. Turn right onto the Marble Arch Road. Continue through Florencecourt Village and go straight following the signs for Blacklion. Along this road you will approach a stone bridge, here you will see a signpost for the Cladagh Glen and will see the car park from the road.
If you start from car park (option 1), this walk is suitable for families with children and pushchairs (buggies) if you are content to lift the pushchair (buggie) over the 1 metre high stone stile at the start of the walk (at car park). The walk is a wide (2 metre gravel path) which will take you for 1mile through forest, past waterfalls and meanders along the river bank (please be aware for safety). After 1mile you reach the boardwalk steps which are not accessible for families/persons with pushchairs (buggies).
If you start from car park (option 2), this walk is suitable for families/persons who do not require pushchairs (buggies) but have active young children. The path is a mixture of narrow woodland gravel paths, stepped concrete paths, boardwalks, steps and wide gravel paths. The gradient of the paths works its way slowly downhill. We would highlight that there are a number of pot holes, depressions and cliffs along the walk with an active river so please keep children and pets near by.
The walk can be enjoyed by all ages with an average level of fitness.
Outside the open season Early- March to November for the Marble Arch Caves Visitor Centre there are no facilities for this walk.
Dogs are permitted, when kept on a lead. Please note: There are shake holes, crevices, rivers and depressions along this walk so please keep pets to the pathway.
Events or Walking Groups Information
This site is owned by Forest Service Northern Ireland and managed by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. Any requests for events or group walks please contact the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.More local attractions