Ireland is a place of never-ending beauty and this global pandemic has taught us to appreciate what our little country has to offer.
The only downfall is the unpredictable weather so, in the words of Pat Short
‘”It’d be a lovely little country if we could only roof it”
Introducing this month’s must-see attraction:
THE CUILCAGH BOARDWALK more commonly known as The Stairway to heaven.
A picturesque trail that over sees the broad landscapes of Fermanagh.
On the 10th of November 2017 we made the decision to venture out and explore this trail!
It was as breath-taking as the reviews mentioned and the scenic views were as awe-inspiring as the online photographs portrayed it to be!
In this post I will share my personal experience, how to get there, the difficulty level of the trail and some helpful tips when planning your trip!
WHERE IS IRELANDS STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN?
The Stairway is part of the Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail located in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. The boardwalk continues all the way up to the mountain’s summit in a stairs format, passing a multitude of emerald fields.
As the name suggests the steps up to the mountains summit give off the illusion that you are reaching for heaven.
The best part, when you get to the very top of the stairway and turn to see the views, they are breathtakingly beautiful.
HOW CAN I GET THERE?
From Onelifefitness Tallaght the drive duration is approximately 2hrs 6mins away. This route is 169km and contains tolls
From Onelifefitness South Terrace the drive duration is approximately 4hrs 14mins away. This route is 359km and contains tolls
WHERE CAN I STAY?
We decided to stay for the weekend to make the most of our trip. We booked our hotel through booking.com and stayed in Enniskillen. This was only 20 minutes away from the trail.
There are plenty of B&B’s, Hotels and motels to suit everyone’s budget.
ABOUT THE TRAIL AND HOW DIFFICULT IS IT?
The trail from the carpark to the very top is in fact only 5.5km, so 11km in total.
Sounds easy right?
What I didn’t know when I hiked this trail was that 3.75km of the 5.5km is the actual boardwalk!
This is quite steep and if you are not exactly active, be prepared for your legs to feel stiff and heavy that evening.
Treat yourself to a relaxing bath with Epson salts after you finish. (Your legs will thank you for it)
According to the mountain walk guides, the Stairway to heaven trail is rated as difficult so do be prepared for a tough but very enjoyable hike.
While the hike is tough, the scenery the whole way from start to finish is very appealing and there are plenty of places you can stop and rest before reaching the summit.
SIDE NOTE: Pack some snacks and a flask for a little tea break along the way
Once you reach the summit and take in the view, you immediately get a sense of achievement.
I have climbed, hiked, walked & ran a lot of trails in Ireland but by far my favourite and most memorable one was the Stairway to heaven!
If you are hesitant on doing this trail due to fitness, do not be. This hike can be done at a leisurely pace. Give yourself time to stop and appreciate the scenery that this trail has to offer.
If you would like to train for this type of a hike I would recommend
- Outdoor running/walking (try some hilly type routes)
- Stepper/stair master machine
- Step aerobics (a fun way to get your steps in and build your aerobic fitness)
- Run/walk up and down your stairs (if you’ve got stairs in your house run/walk up and down and get your legs used to that step incline)
For more help on getting HIKE READY, Onelifefitness would be delighted to get you prepared for your first hike of 2021. You can also visit our social media platforms.
Facebook: One Life Fitness
Best of luck!
Until next time.
Slán go fóill.