They say that the County Cavan has a lake for every day of the year, this is very likely and they are evident everywhere you go. Killykeen Forest Park lies on the shores of Lough Oughter which is part of the River Erne system. It is about an hour and a half from my home and today was a beautiful late September day to visit with my husband. Forest Parks can be tricky after a wet spell but as the sun had been shining for a few days prior to our visit, the ground was firm enough. There are two loops in the park to walk round, the one we choose was 4.6km, part of it along the lake shore. This was the fun bit as it was imperative to keep looking where you put your feet, it was a double edged sword, for by constantly looking down to ensure good footing, it meant you didn’t always spot the low hanging branches, or the fallen trees that required scrabbling under. It certainly made for a very interesting walk.
There is plenty for everyone in Killykeen Forest Park, a short Nature trail. 3 Km. The walk we took was the combined Gartanoul shore walk and Gartanoul Loop walk, a total of almost 5.4 km. There is a family cycle trail, boating/canoeing and fishing, and plenty of fishermen to be seen, so a good reason to make the journey. There is evidence of what was once a cafe/shop facility but sadly it has been closed for many years judging by the state of decay of the building, so bringing a picnic would be desirable, and happily, there are plenty of picnic tables available.
On my way home from the forest park, I stopped by St. Fethlimidh’s Cathedral, Kilmore. Although it was built in 1860 it is still an active church which has been recently restored. The church boasts a number of very fine stained glass windows and it has a decidedly peaceful feel to it. Nearby you can visit the grave of William Bedell, who was bishop of Kilmore from 1629-1642. It was he who translated the Bible into the Irish language.
In truth, it would be impossible to taste the history of this area unless you spent a week visiting the many historic areas. My journey to Killykeen Forest Park was just a taster, hopefully there will be more visits to come.
Killykeen Forest Park, Killykeen, Co. Cavan H12 XH36