Ely Lodge Forest is part of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark. Ely Lodge Forest is a 250 hectare forest that sweeps up from the shores of Lower Lough Erne, one of the largest freshwater lakes in Ireland. The forest underlain by limestone is important commercially for its forest and nationally for its broadleaf woodland and biodiversity.
Ely Lodge Forest gets its name from the nearby Ely Lodge, one of two gate lodges that would have adorned the gates of the demesne of the Marquis of Ely, Nicholas Loftus. The lodge was one of two gatehouses to the Ely Estate, which was the largest in County Fermanagh during Victorian times.
There are a selection of walks within this forest which offer a delightful introduction to the vicinity and provide stunning landscapes and views of Lower Lough Erne and the surrounding area.
Start Point:H 179514
Finish Point:H 176520
Point of interest:This is a delightful accessible for all trail that skirts the shoreline of Lower Lough Erne, picnic facilities and resting areas along the walk provide an enjoyable day out for all.
OS map:Sheet 17
Terrain:Tarmac footpath, no gradients
Route:The Carrickreagh Jetty Walk is a blue waymarked linear route through a woodland landscape skirting the shoreline of Lower Lough Erne.
The path meanders through the forest which is alive with green foliage and the undergrowth glows a vibrant green, with moss, wood sorrel and ferns carpeting the ground beneath the trees.
Added to these surroundings are areas where the forest opens to provide glimpses of Lower Lough Erne and its surroundings. Take a moment to look at the Crannog, Inish Lougher and Inish Fovar Islands, which are directly opposite the shoreline, these islands and the surrounding shore, are an important area for a variety of wild fowl and water birds. The great crested grebe, mute swan, grey heron and a variety of ducks are often spotted in the area. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) undertake conservation work on the islands to monitor and protect the bird population.
Continuing along the path you will reach Carrickreagh Jetty (do not allow children to proceed unattended), here you can take an opportunity to enjoy the panoramic views from the lake and on a calm day the mirror reflections on the lough are quite breathtaking.
Facilities:Wheelchair accessible. Information panel, picnic tables and fully accessible car parking available.
Nearest amenities - Enniskillen.
Accessible terrain:Conditions likely to be encountered:
Steps, gullies, fences, streams, boulders, severe gradients, undefined edges, overhanging branches, some rest areas, way-finding markers at trail junctions.
Wheelchair access is not possible due to path gradients.
Publication:Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark: Forest Walks Booklet
Getting to the start by car:From Enniskillen, travel north along the A46 Shore road towards Belleek. Approximately 10 km from Enniskillen Ely Lodge Forest car park is signposted and located to the right.
Accessible signage:Walk information panel, route way marked.