Co Fermanagh: one walk, one run, one hike, one swim, one cycle, one park and one outdoor gym

Your essential, outdoor, family-friendly guide to Co Fermanagh

When the weather is good, there is so much to do outdoors in Ireland – solo, or with family or friends. Here are seven activities - with locations, descriptions, tips and some maps for a general guide.

Below you can read John O'Dwyer's pick for a great walking path, Conor O'Keeffe on a running route, Rozanna Purcell recommends a hiking trail, Mary McCarthy on an outdoor swimming location, Ian O'Riordan picks a cycle trip, Sylvia Thompson on a family-friendly park and Fiona Alston selects a popular outdoor gym.

And remember, whatever you do and wherever you go, please be safe. And enjoy.

Name Cliffs of Magho, Enniskillen
Distance 3km
Approximate duration 1.5 hours
Difficulty Strenuous
Starting point Google Maps Carpark on A46 road (grid reference H 061 582); you can follow this Walk NI guide
Amenities Parking
This there-and-back walk involves a steep ascent on gravel tracks and a series of steps that is rewarded with an unforgettable viewing point across the magnificent expanse of Lower Lough Erne from the stunning high Point of the Magho.


Name: Big Dog Forest – Big Dog Walk
Length: 4km
Grade: Moderate
Terrain: All types, mostly forest track, some unsurfaced path.
Route type: Linear, with circular loop.
Footwear: Road or Trail Runners
Wheelchair accessible: No
Facilities: Parking, onsite interpretation, picnic area, way marked walking route.
Background: Big Dog Forest Walk is part of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark. Big Dog Forest is 1,000 hectares in size and is cloaked largely with conifers. This beautiful short run allows you to explore some of Fermanagh's best upland landscapes, and the forest is inhabited by wildlife as varied as red deer, herons and dragonflies. Keep an eye out for them as you run, no doubt they'll keep an eye out for you! This is a truly special spot offering a great short run. Big Dog Forest gets its name from the larger of the two small hills that dominate the skyline, known as Big Dog and Little Dog. According to ancient folklore the hills are named after the two wolf hounds, Bran and Skeolan, who were owned by the mythical giant, Finn MacCool. Legend has it, that one day while hunting, the dogs gave chase to a witch, who cast them into stone to aid her escape. Geologists now know that the two hills are made out of a particularly resistant sandstone.

Route Information: From the car park, follow the black route as indicated by the way marked posts. The walk takes you along forest tracks, before opening out to bisect Lough Nabrickboy, providing magnificent views of this upland lake. Sunglasses will come in handy on a sunny day as light bounces off this beautiful pocket of water. Travel back towards Lough Nabrickboy before taking in Little Dog on your right. One of the highlights of this route is the short but rewarding climb to the top of Little Dog, offering great 360 degree views of the surrounding area. This will count as your hill training for the week surely? Return back towards the car park following the way marked posts.

Getting to the start: If travelling from Enniskillen, travel out along the B81 to Derrygonnelly and turn left at the end of the main street. Take the Garrison Road via Knockmore and head into the hills. Approximately 10km from Derrygonnelly, take the lane on the right signposted for Big Dog car park. From Belcoo take the Garrison Road, approximately 11km turn right at the Cashel Cross Roads; continue along the country lane, after 8km take the lane on the left signposted for Big Dog car park. (Aided by: Marble Arch Geo Park)

Hike name Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail: Stairway to Heaven
Distance 9.5km
Elevation gain 628m
Approximate duration 2.5-3 hours
Difficulty Intermediate
Route Type Out and back
Starting point See AllTrails Culcaigh Legnabrocky Boardwalk
Amenities Car park
Dog-friendly? No
Tips As with most hikes, try to get here early, to enjoy the boardwalk, stairs and view before the crowds

Name: Lough Erne
Location: Google Map: Carrickreagh Jetty
Brief description:
Close to Ely Lodge Forest and surrounded by trees
Amenities: Ely Lodge Forest car park
Lifeguard: No
Water quality: No status but recognised as an internationally important wildlife area ((DAERA)
Tips: Not a designated swimming area so follow the depth markers and keep to edge of the main channel away from boat traffic. Wear swimming shoes or swim from the forest lodge as the edge is rocky. Mid morning/afternoon best as often fishermen there otherwise

Name: The Kingfisher Trail Northern Loop
Start location: Enniskillen
The Kingfisher Cycle Trail was the first long distance cycle trail in Ireland, and follows minor country roads through the border counties of Fermanagh, Leitrim, Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan.
Distance: 157km (in total)
Time: 4-5 hours per day
Highlights: Best broken up into shorter sections in between the smaller towns of Garrison, Kesh and Irvinestown.
Look out for: Close to Blacklion, on the way to Enniskillen, cyclists can rest awhile and descend underground in the magnificent setting of the Marble Arch Caves.
Tips: The website offers clearly way-marked routes.

Park name: Florence Court, Enniskillen.
Amenities: Short and long walks through parkland, woodland and pleasure gardens and some special climbing trees.
Special features: Among the many champion trees (ie the tallest and thickest of their species) is Ireland's original Irish yew tree. It is believed that almost all the Irish Yew trees in churchyards throughout the world come from this one tree.
Access: Car parking via Grand Gates on Mill Road next to visitor centre. Ulsterbus 192 from Enniskillen to Swanlinbar, getting off at Creamery Cross (two mile walk from there). Google Map "Florence Court".
Dogs: Dogs on leads only.
Tip: Advance booking advised.

Name: The Round O, Enniskillen
Equipment: Pull-up bars, chest press, cross trainer and other cardio and strength-training machines.
Location: Google Maps
Information: The machines are by the slipway on the River Erne, giving you beautiful views as you train. There are also nice walking routes and a play park nearby.

Get Active Series
- 32 great walking routes in Ireland - one in each county
- 32 great hikes in Ireland
- 32 great running routes
- 32 great outdoor swim locations
- 32 great cycling routes
- 32 great parks
- 32 great outdoor gyms