When you hear the words Stairway to Heaven immediately Led Zepplin comes to mind. The Cuilcagh Legnabrocky (say that 3 times fast!) trail in the Cuilcagh Mountains in Fermanagh has also been given the nickname ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and for a very good reason.
The Cuilagh Mountains which lay on the border of Cavan and Fermanagh are a beautiful site to behold. Once you get to the foot of the Cuilcagh mountains you will be presented with a range of different walks that you can do. The ‘Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail’ is the walk nicknamed ‘Stairway to Heaven’. This trail is a linear route which starts off on gravel along the mountain and continues through the quite wilderness and farmland, eventually bringing you to the wooden boardwalk freshly put down to protect the land from travelers walking through. This boardwalk creates a stunning and unique landscape along the mountain but what is even more unique are the endless set of stairs you are faced with upon reached the base of the mountain.
There are roughly 100 flights of stairs leading up to the pinnacle of this mountain, and trust me when I say that they are not easy steps to take! On the way up you will see the beautiful Lough Atana which is a lake nestled among the barren farmland. Once you reach the summit plateau you can continue on the mountain terrain which brings you to an ancient cairn that stands 666 metres above sea level.
Unfortunately I found that in this instance the journey was better than the destination! Although the top of this mountain has stunning views, once you stand still it can get quite cold and the bog-like land at the top make it hard to walk around without losing your foot in a mud puddle (this happened me again.. and again.. and again!). This being said, it is definitely rewarding to reach the top and I think the reason I feel like it was not up to scratch was possibly because the whole route itself was so beautiful. From the top you have an amazing view of the entire surroundings, the colour only broken by Lough Atana contributing a pop of blue in the distance.
There are a few things now that I have done the walk that I would recommend. We went on an absolutely beautiful day but the weather is very unpredictable. Although I went wearing long sleeves and even a hat, I ended up taking this off half way through, only to put them back on the second we got to the top due to the wind. It was only when I went home that I realized I had also gotten sun burned along the way! So I would recommend preparing for all kinds of weather on your walk.
We arrived shortly after half 10 and managed to grab a space in the car park below. There were barely any people on the path as we walked along which was nice as we could take in the scenery and go at our own pace as the path is only two people wide and it is hard to pass people out. We found by the time we turned back to go down there were hoards of people coming against us and the car park was not only full but there were cars parked the whole way down the road for a few kilometres. For the best experience you should definitely wake and go as early as you can!
Us, along with many others, brought food to eat once we reached the top. It’s a nice little pick me up after the tough journey to the summit and since the whole climb up and down took us about 3 hours it was nice to have something to keep us going.
But, My biggest recommendation of all is simply to do the walk! It was one of the best things I have done in Ireland to date (even if it was in Northern Ireland that is technically in the UK.)
Have you ever been to the Stairway of Heaven in Ireland? Would you like to do it?