Contractors are to commence work today (20th November 2020) on a new carpark in Glan Gap for those wishing to access Cuilcagh from the Glangevlin side. The LEADER funding project will include minor upgrade works at the Altachullion Viewing Point, Tullydermot Waterfall and put in place a lowland walk from Tullytermot to Alteen.
Access to Cuilcagh has been a growing issue. More and more people want to climb to the highest point in Cavan and Fermanagh. Experiencing the natural beauty of our countryside should not be the preserve of the view but be as open as possible to all. Of course, the protection of the environment is also of paramount importance. This investment addresses part of the issue in that it will take cars off the road across Glan Gap providing a safe parking place for people to leave their car as they head to the mountain summit.
Furthermore, the investment at Altachullion and Tullydermott will make both sites more attractive. The creation of a further marked walkway in the lower slopes of Cuilcagh will provide people with an option to experience the Cuilcagh Mountains without having to climb to the summit. It will be a welcome addition to the other marked walking routes in the Swanlinbar area some of which have also been upgraded in recent months by the Council.
As a local county councillor I thank all local landowners for their cooperation in this project and the staff of the Council who have done so much preparatory work, engaging with interested parties, statutory agencies and the principal funder, LEADER.
This investment is a welcome first step as far as I am concerned. It will improve things greatly in Glan Gap. It will take some of the pressure of the Legnabrocky Trail better known as the Stairway to Heaven on the Fermanagh side.
Cuilcagh is a key part of the Geopark, shared between the two counties and having on its slopes the key site of the Marble Arch Caves, Cavan Burren Park, the Shannon Pot and the Stairway to Heaven.
The improvement of facilities for those accessing Cuilcagh has been a constant issue for me over these past few years. I have raised this matter again recently at a Municipal District Meeting. We need to put in place designated marked routes bringing people to the summit of the mountain. We must do so in the interest of walkers, landowners and the sensitive environment that is Cuilcagh, a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) when this project is complete that must be the next objective.