Pollnagolllum Cave Walk: Belmore Forest is part of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark.
This walk is located in the Boho-Belmore Mountain area, right in the heart of Fermanagh’s cave country. Beneath your feet lies an extensive maze of caves which attract cavers and potholers from far and wide to west Fermanagh. One of the most intriguing mammals found in the Belmore uplands is the Irish hare. Larger than rabbits, adult hares have black tips on their ears and their long back legs giving them a distinctive walk or ‘lope’. Depending on the time of day and year keep a watchful eye out for bats and birds around the cave entrance
Distance:4.3 miles miles
Point of interest:The most extraordinary feature on this route through Belmore Forest is Pollnagollum Cave, Irish for “Hole of the doves”. The cave is fed by a waterfall toppling down from the top of a limestone cliff and is swollen to a torrent during harsh weather.
Getting to the start by car:From Enniskillen, follow the A46 Shore road to Belleek. Take the left fork onto the B81 Derrygonnelly road and proceed to the first road signed for Boho on the left. At Boho Crossroads turn left and continue along this road for approximately 4 miles, passing Boho Community Centre on the way before turning left at the sign for Belmore Forest. Continue up the forestry road, arriving at a small car park situated on your right.
From Belcoo, head towards Enniskillen and turn left onto the road signposted for Boho. Continue until reaching a T-Junction and turn right. Then approximately 200m along this road turn left following the signs for Boho. Continue along this road for approximately 5km and turn right, there is a wooden sign for Belmore Forerst and continue up this lane until you arrive at a parking bay with Interpretation panel.
OS map:Sheet 17
Terrain:All types of terrain
Route:From the car park, follow the black route along the forest tracks, as indicated by the way marked posts. The geology of the area is dominated by limestone, which can clearly be seen in the disused quarry just off the forest track. Leading from the track is a short gravel path which will take you to a viewing platform for Pollnagollum Cave. Returning to the forest track you will start to climb gradually, with Lower Lough MacNean, Ross Lough and Cuilcagh Mountain coming into view at different points on the walk. You might also chance upon some of our native wildlife such as Irish hare, common buzzard or maybe a jay.
Please note: This Forest is managed sustainably by NI Forest Service. Please avoid entering the quarry as the rock face may be unstable. Caves can be dangerous and should only be entered by properly equipped cavers, so please keep out. This walk is situated in a working forest environment and may be subject to diversions and closure from time to time.
Facilities:Information panel and car parking available, nearest amenities Boho.
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, Discussed quarry with potentially unstable rock faces.
Wheelchair access is not possible due to path gradients.
Accessible signage:Walk information panel, route way marked.
Publication:Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark: Forest Walks Booklet