r moreFinally did the Cuilcagh boardwalk!! Me and my friends have been planning to do this trail the last two years. For those of you who don’t know, the Cuilcagh mountain boardwalk trail is basically one of those things you have to do if you live in Ireland. It’s a trail that brings you right to the summit of the mountain, on a wooden boardwalk ; taking you through a stunning 7.5km of wide open landscape to get there. The view from the top is amazing, well worth the strenuous climb.
It’s kind of down to me that it took us so long to do it, every time I thought of walking uphill for 3 hours straight, the anxiety kicked in. I eat constantly too, so the thought’s of being in the middle of nowhere for half the day, just didn’t seem good to me. Also… what if something terrible happened, an awful accident and it took forever for help to get out there?! Yeah, it was just a big ball of stress for me!
BUT, I really know how far I’ve come sitting here talking about how I’ve done it. And it wasn’t awful! Although, I’m gona be honest, it was so tough!! We.. (I).. had to stop every ten minutes for a break. The girls were able to walk and keep a conversation going, but I felt like I was gasping for air the entire time! I thought my fitness was good but apparently not. It just shows though, even if you’re not that fit, it’s still doable. It took us around 4 hours total to get back to the car, but that was at a fairly easy pace.
You park in the carpark which costs £5. There is a stone path which leads towards the mountain. It stretches for almost 6km – and is quite an incline-until you reach the boardwalk. The boardwalk isn’t steep at the beginning but ends with a number of steps up to the summit.
Think the boardwalk makes it interesting and different than your average hike. The boardwalk was placed there to protect the blanket bog underneath being eroded, but it makes for such a different experience then your usual hike. I’d say it makes it easier too (which I was delighted about!) and definitely shortens the hike time. The boardwalk only exists for roughly the last km though, so you’ll be happy to reach it when you get there.
It is such a beautiful place. Although the landscape doesn’t really change though out the hike (which is why I don’t have too many pictures of the scenery). The bleak hills are broken up by dense heather. The boardwalk almost seems out of place amongst the wilderness. When you get out of the car and see the path winding off far into the horizon and up the side of the mountain, it seems really daunting, but as you walk and see the stairway at the top getting closer, it feels great. If you like the outdoors and hiking, I feel like the Cuilcagh boardwalk is a mandatory attraction in Ireland.
If you do decide to do the Cuilcagh boardwalk, I advise you to bring lots of snacks and plenty of water. We had a picnic at the top and I have to say it was a brilliant reward to completing the trail!! Bring a warm hoody too – even in the warm summer, the landscape is completely open and when you get to the mountain top, it’s crazy windy. Have a raincoat in the car but judge the weather when you get there, we didn’t get rain, thankfully!
Another tip, drive straight past the first car park, there’s one closer if you keep driving, wish we’d have known that, you’re welcome! Lastly, do it at your own pace and just enjoy yourself! It’s not a race. Don’t kill yourself to get to the top and forget to look around you!
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Byee for now,
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