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Killykeeghan National Nature Reserve

General Information 

 

Killykeeghan and Crossmuirin Nature Reserve forms part of the wider Marlbank National Nature Reserve, recognised for its limestone landscape which is rare in Northern Ireland and confined to this one region in West Fermanagh. The site is home to a wide range of plant and animal species, rare limestone pavement, archaeological remains and is steeped in history, culture and folklore.

This stunning landscape formed hundreds of millions of years ago. Today it is the foundation for this scenic setting of vibrant green hills, meandering rivers, steep sided gorges and limestone grasslands that you can see around you. Beneath this stunning landscape, there are three major river cave systems including the famous Marble Arch Caves carving their way through the limestone bedrock to daylight in the valley below.

This natural landscape is protected both national and internationally designated as an Area of Special Scientific Interest, a National Nature Reserve and it sits in the heart of the Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark.

Did You Know?

The townland of Killykeeghan covers an area of just over 2 square miles and is the 10th largest townland within Fermanagh. The name ‘Killykeeghan’ originates from the Irish/Gaelic, Coillidh Caocháin ‘Caochán’s wood’ or ‘wood of the bog hole or blind creature, beast or bird’(Dinneen).

The walk around Killykeegan Nature is reserve is a 600metres looped gravel trail with interpretation which take in the views and landscape of the area. Today the Reserve provides an important and unique habitat for many species of animals and birds.  The continued use of traditional farming methods and cattle grazing helps this rich vegetation to naturally thrive and encourages many special species to reside here.  A wide range of butterflies, moths and dragonflies can be seen, and in the summer months the meadows are awash with vibrant rare species including the delicate Irish Damselfly and elegant Marsh Fritillary Butterfly, whilst the scrub and woodland areas bustle with insects. If you are lucky you will catch a glimpse of the Irish Hare feeding in the summer meadows or the elusive Pine Marten foraging in the woodlands and on warm autumn evenings the sky is filled with bats eagerly munching on the abundance of insects in the night air.

Facilities

Killykeeghan National Nature Reserve is free to visit and open all year round. A wonderful interpretative centre showcases the local history and folklore of the region whilst a looped walking trail, highlights the spectacular views and unique landscape.  With free car parking facilities, public toilets and picnic areas Killykeegan Nature Reserve has a lot to offer for a great day out with family and friends.
Opening Times
Interpretative Centre 10:00am – 4:00pm (Daily)
Toilet Facilities 10:00am – 4:00pm (Daily)
Parking Facilities -Daylight Hours (Daily) – Height restrictions to car park apply after 4:00pm

How to get here

(Follow the signs for the Marble Arch Caves Visitor Centre from Enniskillen)

Take the A4 Sligo Road from Enniskillen. Turn left onto the A32 Swanlinbar Road. Turn right onto the Marble Arch road. Turn left, still following the signs for the Marble Arch Visitor Centre. Continu along this road, there will be a sign on your right hand side for Killykeeghan Nature Reserve.

Dogs 

Dogs are permitted, when kept on a lead. Please note that the site is grazed by cattle and there are crevices and depressions along the trail so please keep pets under control.

Events or Walking Groups Information

This site is owned by  the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and managed by the Marble Arch Caves.  Any requests for events or group walks please contact the Marble Arch Caves, Visitor Experience Officer on +44 (0) 28 66321815.

More local attractions

Key information

  • Distance: 900 metres
  • Route Shape : Looped Trail
  • Route Type : Gravel paths, lanes and narrow trails sections.
  • OS Map : OSNI Discoverer Series 26
  • Grid Reference:

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