Killykeeghan Nature Reserve

Killykeegan Nature Reserve is a mesmerising spot and a stunning section of the Marlbank scenic loop. This awe-inspiring landscape consists of prehistoric limestone hills formed hundreds of millions of years ago under a tropical sea. Now, it is a sanctuary, refuge and home for a wide variety of wildlife, making it a wonderful site to admire, learn from and most importantly, preserve.

Facilities: car parking, interpretation, McGrath’s cottage, toilets and the Killykeeghan Nature Reserve Walk.

Getting Here

Killykeeghan Nature Reserve

  • Main Car Park
  • Marlbank Road
  • Marlbank
  • Fermanagh
  • Northern Ireland
  • BT92 1EW
  • Main Car Park
  • Marlbank Road
  • Marlbank
  • Fermanagh
  • Northern Ireland
  • BT92 1EW
  • 54.2558518, -7.8343478

Killykeeghan Nature Reserve Walk

  • Distance: 0.5 miles
  • Grade: Easy
  • Terrain: Grassland and woodland
  • Route: Circular
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Dogs: Dogs are not permitted

There is car parking and a short 600m circular trail at Killykeeghan where you can see fine examples of limestone pavement and glacial erratics, archaeological features, and historical farming features. There is also a small exhibition of local history on site in a restored cottage. Historical farming features can also be found within the Killykeegan Nature Reserve, allowing for a truly fascinating day out.

Killykeeghan Nature Reserve Walk    Map

Heritage

This Nature Reserve’s limestone grassland is managed through conservation grazing and is characterized by low growing plants such as thyme and bird’s foot trefoil. Bird’s foot trefoil is the food plant of the caterpillars which after cocooning, reveal themselves as the rare dingy skipper butterfly. You can spot this unusual creature here in the Nature Reserve in early summer. You also may find the Common Blue butterfly and another rarity, the Marsh Fritillary butterfly.

In places the prehistoric limestone that resides here, is overlain by patches of acidic soils which, in early June are swathed with pink heath-spotted orchids. The gorgeous Lesser Butterfly Orchid also blooms here, their flowers mimicking white moths which are thus lured to pollinate them. Lesser Butterfly Orchids can reach up to 30cm in height, making them a wonderful sight to see.  Rarities found here include Field Gentian, (a glorious wildflower) and the small White Mountain Orchid as well as Hazel Scrub which has found a niche within the nature reserve as well.

The site is also a refuge for the cheeky Red Squirrel as well as Pine Martens and the Irish Stoat. The buzz and hum of wildlife never ceases within the nature Reserve, as Cuckoos can be heard calling, seeking out Meadow Pipits’ nests in which to lay their eggs.

Aside from all the life and nature available to you, you will also spot some fine examples of limestone pavement and glacial erratics within Killykeegan, further enriching archaeological curiosities.

Itineraries

Cuilcagh Mountain

Cuilcagh Mountain

The Cuilcagh Mountain route takes you all the way round the majestic Cuilcagh Mo...

Discover Nearby Geosites

Gortmaconnell Viewpoint

Gortmaconnell Viewpoint

Marlbank, Fermanagh

This delightful short walk leads you to one of the most incredible views in the ...

0.14 miles
Florencecourt Forest Trail

Florencecourt Forest Trail

Florence Court, Fermanagh

Corridors of lofty trees, dynamic rivers, rambling stone field walls, a rich tre...

0.25 miles
Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail

Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail

Enniskillen, Fermanagh

The trail meanders along a farmland track, through one of the largest expanses o...

0.3 miles
Marble Arch Caves

Marble Arch Caves

Enniskillen, Fermanagh

Visitors are guided through a fascinating natural underworld of rivers, waterfal...

0.3 miles
Cladagh Glen

Cladagh Glen

Marlbank, Fermanagh

The narrow-steep sided gorge of the Cladagh Glen is one of the most picturesque ...

0.33 miles
Cuilcagh Mountain Park

Cuilcagh Mountain Park

Marlbank, Fermanagh

Cuilcagh Mountain Park takes in 2,500 hectares on the northern slopes of Cuilcag...

0.64 miles
Garvagh Lough

Garvagh Lough

Derrylahan, Cavan

This tranquil Lough is part of a complex system of underground rivers associated...

0.78 miles
Cavan Burren Park

Cavan Burren Park

Burren, Cavan

A mythical, spiritual landscape of monuments, megalithic tombs, hut sites and pr...

0.99 miles
Moneygashel Cashel

Moneygashel Cashel

Moneygashel, Cavan

Theremains of three stone Cashels, one of which has been described as 'the fines...

1.53 miles
Marlbank Viewpoint

Marlbank Viewpoint

Belcoo, Fermanagh

From here you will be able to see Upper and Lower Lough MacNean, the village of ...

2.11 miles

Distances are from Killykeeghan Nature Reserve