An Creagán Boidiversity Trail provides a safe and friendly place to de-stress in a uniquely tranquil and picturesque environment. Starting from An Creagán the walk begins with a Biodiversity Trail and a series of panels on the plants found on the bogs of Creggan. The walk continues through the forest where a variety of wildlife can be observed, the trail makes its way along the Glasagh Burn with beautiful views of Cashel mountain. The walk makes its way past an open raised bog and returns to An Creagán.
Distance:0.25 miles miles
Point of interest:See the range and variety of the habitat, visitor centre
Nearest town:Carrickmore / Creggan
OS map:Sheet 13
Terrain:Gravel / wooden boardwalk
Route:The Biodiversity Trail is a short walk which lets you get a feel for the Sperrin landscape and is fully accessible for buggies and wheelchairs. As you approach An Creagán visitor complex, turn left and walk up the slope between the large stones at the beginning of the route. As you come to the brow of this incline you will have a view to your left across a 22 acre (9 hectare) remnant of the once much larger Creggan Bog. This is a small piece of undeveloped raised bog which is home to unique colonies of plants including 14 different types of sphagnum moss, cranberry, crowberry, bilberry and the insect eating sundews, amongst others. A gravel path leads you along the edge of this bog with a short board-walked outshot giving you the chance to get out into the midst of this soft, peaty landscape without getting your feet wet. At intervals you will come across interpretative panels which give a description of some of the native plants.
Continuing along the gravel path you will notice to your right the hollowed out landscape of a decommissioned gravel quarry. Closed since the 1960s it is now populated by willow and birch with a system of ponds running through the quarry floor. These are home to the protected smooth newt as well as our common frog, who puts on rather a spectacle during the spawning season when they gather in their hundreds in search of a mate. You will come to a junction where you take the right fork through a wooden gate marking the entrance to the quarry, now known as the “Wild Woods” and used by groups of young children for natural, outdoor play. Pass through the gate (leaving it in the position you found it, open or closed!) and you will see how the vegetation changes in this gravelly, well-drained soil – a stark comparison to the moist peat of Creggan Bog. Bell heathers, gorse, bramble and devil’s-bit scabious reside here, amongst others.
The steep sides of this quarry provide a glimpse into history, where glacial activity once deposited mounds of sand and gravel before the “big thaw” allowed the surface to re-vegetate and lay down peat, which can be seen as a distinct layer on top. As you gradually descend you will pass three man-made ponds on your left before coming to a second gate which marks the exit of the Wild Woods and the entrance to the community garden. Past the raised beds you will come to Ballybriest Wedge Tomb on your left. A nice example of its type and once housing cremated remains and assorted grave offerings, it was relocated here in 2001 as it was threatened by development in its original position on the slopes of Slieve Gallion. Passing the duck pond on your left you will come to the courtyard of An Creagan centre and back to your starting point.
Facilities:Parking, Tourist Information Office, restaurant, accommodation and toilets. Centre opening hours apply.
Accessible toilet facilities:Yes
Accessible terrain:Gravel paths and boardwalk
Publication:An Creagan leaflet
For more information contact An Creagan on 028 8076 1113 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Getting to the start by car:Follow the A505 toward Cookstown. The An Creagan Centre is 13 miles along the road on the right handside. Park at An Creagan Visitor Centre