19 October 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

A record number of walkers turned out for the Fermanagh Walking Festival last weekend. On Sunday, the Coonian Ramblers welcomed walkers on two marvellous walks in the Scenic Sliabh Beagh area. The Knockatallon Ramblers were very much involved and used their local knowledge to lead and assist the lead guides who did a marvellous job on the day.
The advanced walking group headed out towards the Three County Hollow navigating the unspolit bog and passing the many lakes which feature on the landscape. The focal point was the three counties hollow, where the counties of Monaghan, Fermanagh and Tyrone meet. The landmark is in a beautiful setting close to where the Blackwater River gently meanders through the border region.
The Intermediate walk was no less impressive. Walkers enjoyed miles of forest trails and a trek across the bog, enjoying a rich and diverse ecological habitat. The pollution-free location is an ideal environment for tree mosses to flourish. One walker described a traverse through the border forest as a scene straight out of Narnia. Hanging mosses descended from branches like cobwebs and strange colourful fungi congregated at the foot of the trees in shadowy forest light.
On Saturday, walkers from clubs in Ulster and beyond congregated at the Marble Arch Geo Park for the start of the festival weekend. The highlight of the day’s walking was Cuilcagh via the colloquially named ‘Yellow Brick Road”.
Below the cliffs on Cuillcagh the group looked down at the surface of the inky black Lough Atona. At an altitude of 475 metres, Lough Atona is just about the highest and most remote body of water in Northern Ireland. By all accounts the Intermediate walk was equally challenging and offered walkers an interesting alternative to the area’s most popular hike.

A big thanks to the Coonian Ramblers for their hospitality and for organising a great day of walking. In just a few short years, The Fermanagh Festival has become established as one the best on the annual walking calendar.

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