Florencecourt Forest Park covers an area of 1,200 hectares and this old estate forest and moorland is currently managed by the National Trust.
The Florencecourt Forest Trail is one of the walks on offer within Cuilcagh Mountain Park and is Section Five of the Cuilcagh Way, a waymarked route that stretches for 20.5 miles / 33.5km through a breath-taking patchwork of habitats in west Fermanagh. The route provides stunning views, fascinating geology, mystifying wildlife, captivating archaeology, and natural history and can be walked in sections. The trail is also surrounded by corridors of lofty trees, dynamic rivers, rambling stone field walls, a rich treasury of wildflowers and a unique density of rustic farmsteads.
Facilities: car parking, interpretation, picnic area, playpark, shop, tea rooms, toilets, Florencecourt House and a number of walking trails.
Florencecourt Forest Trail
When starting your walk from the Florencecourt House carpark follow the waymarked red trail, which takes you along narrow tracks that twist and turn and undulating course past mixed deciduous woodland crossing the Larganess River in several places. As you reach the edge of the forest you will pick up the trail sign for the Cuilcagh Way (Florencecourt Forest Trail). It weaves its way through forests alive with a wide variety of wildlife, birds, and plants before sauntering around the foothills of the Marlbank karst region, an area of limestone with characteristic weathering both above and below ground.
There are no significant climbs but along the western section of the trek there are some splendid views of Cuilcagh Mountain and the surrounding Marlbank hills. Attractions along the way include Gortmaconnell Rock, a knoll-shaped hill rising out of the green meadows with its craggy white slopes stark in the sunlight.
Please be aware:
For safety, conservation and insurance reasons, walk leaders and event organisers are not permitted to organise, advertise, or run an event of any nature in, or along any section of the Cuilcagh Way, where participants exceed 20, without prior written consent from the Marble Arch Caves. Application forms are available from the Marble Arch Caves and should be submitted well in advance of a planned walk or event. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Florencecourt Forest Trail is alive with a wide variety of wildlife, birds, and plants. One of the most important features of the site is the display of the original Irish yew tree, which can be spotted on your travels. The story goes back to 1767, when a young local farmer, George Willis, found Yew saplings from the slopes of the surrounding mountains. George planted one for his own garden and gave the other to his landlord, William Cole, (the first Earl of Enniskillen).
The trees got so much attention, they became famous in the area, attracting attention from horticultural communities far and wide, and became so sought after that in 1820, it was commercially reproduced. It is believed that all Irish yew specimens across the world owe their creation to this Yew which resides within the grounds of Florence Court house, which is incredibly special.
Florencecourt Forest Trail skirts Florencecourt House, an 18th Century home, which is managed by the National Trust.
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Distances are from Florencecourt Forest Trail