Overview of the Stairway to Heaven Fermanagh

I’m sure you’ve all heard of the Stairway to Heaven in Fermanagh. The hike also goes by another name, it is the Cuilcagh mountain, located in Fermanagh. It has quickly become one of the most popular Ireland bucket list items. Following the Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail, it is a 14.8Km round trip through the wilderness on the vast open hills of the Cuilcagh mountain. If you’re thinking of doing the hike, be sure to take a look at my Stairway to Heaven guide.

cuilcagh mountain, stairway to heaven guide

Getting to the Stairway to Heaven in Fermanagh:

How to get to the Stairway to Heaven walk in Fermanagh

A quick google map search will get you better directions than I could ever give you, but to give you an idea, it is just over the border, between Cavan and Fermanagh. It is just a couple of km past the Marble Arch Caves entrance.

The exact address is: the Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail (car park) on the Marlbank Road, Enniskillen, Co.Fermanagh BT92 1EW.

Carpark for the Cuilcagh Walk

There are a couple of car parks. When you get to the first one, I suggest you drive straight through and go to the second, at least that is what I wish we had done. Anything to reduce those footsteps a bit. Because you’ll have the legs walked off ya regardless of how close you park!

The car park is provided by a local farmer, so be respectful.

Is there a fee for the car park at Stairway to Heaven?

When I say car park, you just park up in a field. It costs 5 pounds. Please note, dogs are not permitted on the climb.

A more difficult hike:

If you want to make it tougher, there is the Cuilcagh Hikers Trail – which is 18 km round trip. If you’re interested in this hike, it starts at: Cuilcagh Hikers Trail (car Park) is at Gortalughany viewpoint, Carran Road, Gortalughany, Enniskillen, BT92 3BF

cuilcagh mountain, stairway to heaven guide

About the climb: Stairway to Heaven Guide

Cuilcagh mountain stands at a height of 665 metres, but luckily there is a boardwalk and stairs for much of the climb. Now, I’m not going to lie, I found it pretty tough. That being said, at the time I was extremely unfit and my health anxiety was at a peak, so that may not be much to go by.

My mother did it at some point. Although not particularly active, she found it absolutely grand to do. She did it 2 hours quicker than I did as well. I think that shows my own pitiful effort, but also how do-able it is.

Before you get to the boardwalk, there is a few km of gravel path between the car park and the start of the climb. I found this the hardest part.

sheep, fermanagh, ireland

What to bring with you for the Hike:

  • I would suggest bringing some snacks to eat when you get to the top. I had a mini picnic with my pals once we reached the top and there could have been nothing more rewarding than that. Had more time to appreciate the most rewarding views too.
  • Bring water. NOTE: there are no toilets along the 14 km route. If you’re opposed to going outside, keep water intake to a minimum. I found myself a nice rock on route so I was able to gulp water into me.

What to wear when hiking the Stairway to Heaven:

You’d wanna be prepared for the ever-changing Irish weather. Remember to check the forecast on the day, but also know to take this with a pinch of salt.

  • Waterproof jacket – this is a must. Even if it a light one that can be rolled up in your bag if you are not using it. You will not regret having one when the heavens open up, which tends to happen a lot on the lovely Emerald Isle!
  • Hat- the area is very open and can be quite windy. Bring a hat to cover those ears.
  • Comfortable walking shoes – you go from a gravel path, to boardwalk to stairs. You want to make sure your shoes have support and are comfortable.

Light layers are your friend.

cuilcagh mountain, stairway to heaven guide

Reminders:

  • No dogs permitted on the hike
  • There is no toilets. The nearest toilets are over 1 km drive from the car park.
  • Layer
  • Bring snacks.

FAQ – Stairway to Heaven Fermanagh

Stairway to Heaven Fermanagh Distance. How long is the hike?

The hike is a 14.8Km round trip.

How long does it take to walk the Stairway to Heaven?

I feel like this is a tough one because it really depends on your fitness and the pace you like to hike. For me, I am not too fit and stop a lot to take pictures. In total with a lunch break, catch-your-breath and picture stops, it took almost 4 hours. However, I know others who have done it 2. That is by powering on and not taking any stops. It really depends.

Is the Stairway To Heaven Walk Hard?

Honestly, it’s not terribly difficult if you have some level of fitness. It can be more difficult mentally because you are walking towards the mountain and feel like you are not getting closer. The boardwalk makes it a lot easier too. Honestly, for me, the worst bit was the gravel path at the beginning. The steps can be a killer but if you take your time it is not bad. I’d say it’s moderately difficult.

Is the Stairway to Heaven Walk Free?

Technically yes. If you rock up on foot it will be free. What you do have to pay for, is the car park. But it’s gona be pretty difficult to get there on foot. When I visited, it was 6 pounds. If you don’t want to drive there yourself, there are some tour companies that include “Stairway to Heaven” packages.

Stairway to Heaven Fermanagh Opening Times

The car park is open daily between 9 am – 5 pm. Remember a fee applies. Other than this, you can walk the trail whenever you like. And it is open year-round. But be sure to check the weather beforehand!

Are there toilets at the trail?

Nope sorry. The closest toilets are a few kilometers away. Such as at Belcoo Village

Stairway to Heaven Fermanagh

Doing the Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail/Stairway to heaven is really rewarding. You feel great for getting up all them steps and the views from the top make it all worth it! It’s definitely a unique attraction and a must-do on your Irish bucket list. I hope you found my “Stairway to Heaven Fermanagh guide” helpful, and learned a thing or two.

Tinyboots

 

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All photos are my own (and subject to copyright) unless stated otherwise.

Thanks for taking the time to read my “Stairway to Heaven Fermanagh – Complete Guide”.

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