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Located in the west of County Cavan, the town of Ballyconnell is overlooked by the Slieve Russell mountain and named after a Celtic ford.
Located in the west of County Cavan, the town of Ballyconnell is overlooked by the Slieve Russell mountain and named after a Celtic ford. This vibrant and picturesque town, which has won numerous National Tidy Town awards, is located on the Shannon Erne Waterway. The waterway is a canal which links the Shannon and Erne rivers. It was originally opened in 1856, but was revamped and re-opened in recent years for cruisers, boats and canoes to explore the waterway.
Ballyconnell is highly regarded for its coarse fishing and is a good location to sample some golf courses and outdoor activity. The area has many sites of archaeological interest, including the promontory fort at Ballyhugh (5 kilometres) and Killycluggin (6 kilometres) where the decorated Killycluggin Stone was found. Dating back to the Iron Age, this important stone contains Celtic motifs first found at La Tsne in Switzerland. A replica of the stone is now there - the original is now on display in the National Museum.
This loop starts from the bridge in the middle of the town and explores the banks of the Woodford River and Annagh Lough Woods, a wonderful woodland of oak, ash and beech trees and also a wildlife reserve.
A-B. Starting from the entrance to the car park, follow the purple arrows through the park and onto the bank of the Woodford River. After 100 metres you reach a metal footbridge on your left. Fro here, continue straight on, following the sandy path. The loops sweeps right, then left and reach a metal gate (on the right). From here the loop proper begins, you will return to this point through the metal gate. For now, proceed straight on, staying on the path along the riverbank.
B-C. Continue to follow the purple arrows along the riverbank for a further 1 kilometre before crossing two stiles and entering Annagh Lough Wood.
C-D. After 2km in the woods (during which it travels close to the edge of Annagh Lough) the loop joins a sandy farm roadway at a stile and turns left. Pass some farm buildings on your left and after 100 metres, pay attention as the loop turns right through a metal gate.
D-A. Follow the laneway downhill for 100 metres to reach another metal gate. This is the one you passed at Point B earlier, exit and turn left for the return to the trailhead.