Killykeen Forest Park, according to geologists, is the best inland example in all of Ireland of what is called a flooded drumlin (small, tear-shaped hill moulded by Ice Age melts). Drumlins occur quite frequently in along the landscape and give Ireland its characteristic rolling hills. Besides the extensive, sprawling woodlands of Killykeen, the area has hundreds of acres of lakes which join the famous River Erne and weave around the beautiful Lough Oughter. Killykeen Park features several historical sites, as well, such as an Iron Age ring fort and the towering ruins of a 13rh century O'Reilly stronghold known as Clough Oughter Castle.
This magnificent forest also offers a number of marked trails-each one a fascinating journey into mixed woodlands with varieties of Norway and Sitka spruce, oak, birch, sycamore, ash, and alder populated by an extensive mixture of wildlife. Badgers and foxes, rabbits and squirrels inhabit the woods and thrive among communities of birds: heron, coot, moorhen, cormorant and great crested grebe. And the rare whooper swan travels all the way from Iceland to make Killykeen its winter nesting site.
Open all year and free to the public, Killykeen Forest Park is an absolute paradise for birders, wildlife enthusiasts, nature loves, hikers, anglers, cyclists, and fishermen , offering a stunning natural environment in which to indulge their love of the outdoors.
How to get there:
From Dublin: N3 to Cavan Town; from Belfast, A3 to Cavan Town. From Cavan Town, R198 to Crossdooney then R199 to Killeshandra. Well signposted.
For more information: www.cavantourism.com
Written by Joy Davis - Summer of Travel 2007