Cuilcagh 665m mountain, Breifne Cuilcagh Mountains Cavan & Fermanagh Ireland at
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Cuilcagh 665m, Benbeg 539m,
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Breifne Area   Cuilcagh Mountains Subarea
Place count in area: 14, OSI/LPS Maps: 26, 27, 27A 
Highest place:
Cuilcagh, 665m
Maximum height for area: 665 metres,     Maximum prominence for area: 570 metres,

Note: this list of places includes island features such as summits, but not islands as such.
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Cuilcagh Mountain Binn Chuilceach A name in Irish
(Ir. Binn Chuilceach [DUPN], 'chalky peak') County Highpoint of Cavan & Fermanagh, in County Highpoint, Arderin, Vandeleur-Lynam, Irish Highest Hundred Lists, Cyclothemic sandstone, siltstone, coal Bedrock

Height: 665m OS 1:50k Mapsheet: 26 Grid Reference: H12356 28017
Place visited by 410 members. Recently by: m0jla, Krumel, mallymcd, Oileanach, IrishGirl2014, shkiboo, itshimkeith, Tullyroe, Atilla-the-Bun, bertandally, Roswayman, mgriffin, bbarry2015, Niamhq, Marty_47
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Longitude: -7.811428, Latitude: 54.201026 , Easting: 212356, Northing: 328017 Prominence: 570m,  Isolation: 2.6km,   Has trig pillar
ITM: 612303 828028,   GPS IDs, 6 char: Clcgh, 10 char: Cuilcagh
Bedrock type: Cyclothemic sandstone, siltstone, coal, (Lackagh Sandstone Formation)

Cuilcagh lies on the Shannon-Erne watershed. The Shannon rises on the north-western slopes of Cuilcagh at Shannon Pot, a steep-sided pool where the underground river emerges. Strictly speaking, there are streams a mile or two further uphill. Originating in Ulster, the Shannon’s journey through this province lasts less than ten miles, before it enters Connacht. It forms the boundary between Connacht and Leinster for much of its length, and ultimately meets the sea in the province of Munster. Thus it is both a boundary and a link between all four provinces of Ireland. In fact, it even formed the western boundary of the ancient fifth province of Meath. Around Cuilcagh there is a belief concerning the ‘Northern Shannon’, an underground river that supposedly connects the waters at Shannon Pot to the River Claddagh, which emerges at Marble Arch Caves and then flows into the Erne. If Cuilceach genuinely is a variant of cailceach, 'chalky', the name is rather puzzling, as the mountain consists predominantly of sandstone and shale, covered with much bog and heather. Where the rock does outcrop, as at the summit cliffs, it is mainly grey. However, it is possible that the name refers to the limestone rock on the lower northern flanks. Here a number of streams disappear below ground at swallow holes named Cats Hole, Pollawaddy, Pollasumera and Polliniska, all forming part of the Marble Arch cave system. If so, the name would mean 'calcareous' rather than 'chalky'.   Cuilcagh is the highest mountain in the Breifne area and the 170th highest in Ireland. Cuilcagh is the highest point in county Cavan and also the highest in Fermanagh.

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Stairway to be done more than once
by scarecrow  27 Aug 2017
3rd/4th CHP - Headed for Marble Arch Caves and carpark is 60m beyond entrance on left. We had camper so stayed over night so we were ready to leave first thing the next morning. it cost 5 euro to park there which was no issue for us at all. Weather was wet with a few moments of dry so wear proper footwear. There is a path which can become slightly water logged at times but it leads directly to the boardwalk. This is amazing and after a night of solid rain the grip is brilliant. The top was covered in mist and very mucky after all the rain. This only took 3 hours up and down from carpark. There is also someone serving coffee and fresh homemade cakes in the carpark, really impressed. Linkback:
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Picture: Lough Atona
North and South: Geopark odyssey
by kernowclimber  1 Aug 2011
Cuilcagh is the only county top to straddle Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and, lying on the boundary between counties Fermanagh and Cavan, is also part of the world’s first international Geopark: the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark (2008). Cuilcagh’s distinctive table top plateau is comprised of gritstone, uncommon in Ireland, eroded into dramatic cliffs and rugged rocky outcrops that sweep down to lower sandstone and shale slopes which tail off into large expanses of upland blanket bog. Below this is limestone, with its mysterious sinkholes and extensive cave systems. In view of the turbulent past of this area, the Geopark is a fine example of cross border co-operation and peaceful coexistence using the landscape as a vehicle for recreation, education and reconciliation.

The day held little promise, with rain in the air, oppressive with humidity and the pungent smell of turf, as we set off up a track at H13385 24714 A towards Benbeg. Three figures moved steadily out on the bog, hurriedly loading bags of peat into a tractor trailer, as we left the track for steep ground skirting the edge of forestry. Thick mats of sphagnum moss entangled with heather and bilberry made the going tough. Above the forestry we traversed the edge of a corrie with steep shaly slopes of honey coloured rock beneath Benbeg. The summit is unremarkable with no cairn, but the views compensate, especially the long sweeping ridge we were to cross, with Cuilcagh at the end, moody and shrouded in cloud.

Gaining the ridge involved traversing undulating boggy ground, picking a way through a maze of eroded peat hags, then a short scramble over gritstone outcrops. On the ridge the sun broke through the cloud with almost supernatural radiance, illuminating Cuilcagh’s trig point that protruded from its distinctive mound, resembling the breast of a slumbering mountain goddess. The wind driven mist billowed like smoke up over the sheer cliff edge. The rocky summit plateau is a delight. Outcrops of gritstone are weathered into intricate patterns, some slabs of it encrusted with quartz pebbles from an ancient deluge. Strange crevices, 20 ft deep that disappear, choked with glacial debris, before reappearing, harbour huge ferns.

The cloud had now lifted, offering fine views of cornflower blue Lough Atona nestled at the foot of craggy cliffs set amid the russet and green of bog and heather. Towards the NE were small hills, ancient limestone reef knolls, and near pristine blanket bog with pools of water that sparkled merrily in the feeble sunlight.

To avoid the same return route, we scrambled down a steep cliff gully H11602 27151 B, heading across uneven boggy ground of reeds and knee high heather, jumping several small streams, for the edge of the forestry below Benbeg. At H12544 26110 C we crossed a barbed wire fence by a tree stump, using forestry paths to return to our car, grateful for our 12 km odyssey through part of the North and South’s acclaimed Geopark. Linkback:
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Picture: Cuilcagh from Benbeg
gerrym on Cuilcagh, 2006
by gerrym  1 May 2006
Climbed 5.6.04 starting at Cuilagh Mountain Park near to Marble Arch Caves (121336 D). There is a large sink hole here but very difficult to see down into due to vegetation. Cross stile and follow track. Just after crossing bridge take "floating path" off to right, this soon ends but continue in westerly direction to pick up course of Sruh Croppa River after half hour. Follow winding course of river through gully with nice waterfall and past some ruined settlements. As near summit of Tiltinbane (596m) climb away from river to the right to avoid steep gullies. Follow fenceline up to the summit - the final section is quite steep and may require use of hands. A depression next to summit cairn is perfect shelter for a brew. There are extensive views from the summit ridge - north and west towards Sligo Bay and big hills which i think were the Nephin Beg Mountains in Mayo and south over Iron Mountains. Follow path which keeps close to northern cliffs, passing fissures in rock and Lough Atona ,reaching large summit cairn after 1.5 hour walk along summit.
Had intended to return by Ulster Way between Trien and Benaughlin (marker posts just visible) but shortened journey by heading north over moor following river courses back to the track at the bridge. A long walk at 6.5 hours but rewarding with plenty of interest and some good views.

The approach from the S via Benbeg is perhaps more rewarding - it cuts out a long approach through moorland and has a fine sweeping ridge with a very different perspective on the mountain (see Benbeg for this walk). Linkback:
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donieg on Cuilcagh, 2008
by donieg  30 Apr 2008
Climbed Benbeg and Cuilcagh yesterday 29.04.2008. Weather was fine with very good visability, this is an ideal medium effort walk for walkers who have about 3.5 -4hrs to spare. I parked my vehicle at H11960 24491 E in the townland of Altachullion Lower in the Bellavally Gap. There is a gate at this point (not locked) with a gravel track leading up to a telecommunications mast at H12102 25104 F. It is possible to drive up to the mast which leaves a short climb to Benbeg at H12087 25426 G or you can walk up the track to the mast and climb on to Benbeg. I then treked around to the summit onCuilcagh, visibility was excellent with great views all the way, however if the cloud was low or in misty conditions this trek could be more dangerous as the route is along a sheep track with a dangerous d rop on your right hand side as you walk towards Cuilcagh. With this in mind I took some grid references along the route which may be usefull to a person to navigate in bad visibility - Starting at Benbeg - on to H11487 26360 H on to H11476 26525 I on to H11515 26924 J on to H11664 27260 K on to H11828 27662 L on to H11939 27839 M on to the summit of Cuilcagh at H12355 28011 N. I give these reference points as I noticed CSD (experienced walker) in his comment of 22.10.2006 spoke of going off track twice by up to 90 degrees between Benbeg and Cuilcagh in low visibility - a sobering thought considering the steep drop previously mentioned. The views from Cuilcagh on 29.04.2008 were well worth the effort getting there, trekked back to my vehicle via Benbeg. I recommend this walk for somebody that has about four hours to spare and a not too difficult climb. Linkback:
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Absalon on Cuilcagh, 2002
by Absalon  22 Oct 2002
One of the finest walks on Cuilcagh is from the townland of Eshveagh(H079280 O) to the Black Rocks(H140239 P). Map OSNI Sheet 26. Take the narrow straight road opposite (nearly) Glengevlin church. Half a mile on at a bend go through a gate on the R. Minutes later muddily ascend on the L into a field and veer to the R until you reach a barbed wire fence. Follow this until you reach a gate. Enter a narrow enclosure that has an earthen bank running along the centre. Follow the bank which will eventually bring you out on the heathery hillside where there is a primitive path that is difficult to find. However aim for the grassy ridges under the cliffs of Tiltinbane and when there,ascend steeply to the R or the L of the cliffs.There is a damaged megalithic tomb a little N of the highest point. A fine ridge stretches NE for 2-3 miles to Cuilcagh (or the Monument as it is locally known). Boggy ground is largely replaced by stony terrain with cliffs on the N side and limestone fissures on the ridge. From Cuilcagh descend SW to a boggy ridge,then veer S to Benbeg(539 on map). After Benbeg turn L rounding the cliff and descend with the forest on your L to a rough road which leads R to the main road R200 and the Black Rocks. Linkback:
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Picture: Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail
-Legnabrocky Trail
by paddyobpc  24 Jan 2017
Walk Date: 06 Jun 2016. The previous day Dillon(dillonkdy), my sister Helen and I had climbed Truskmore, Truskmore SE Cairn and Seltannasaggart SE Slope. After a rest overnight in Drumshanbo we now had our sights set on Cuilcagh to tick Fermanagh and Cavan off the list of CHP’s. We headed to the Fermanagh side of the mountain near the “Marble Arch Caves” to use the beautiful Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail. It really is as impressive as it looks in the pictures and we were again blessed with the weather all the way to the summit and most of the way down. The views and scenery on this walk are outstanding and the boulders as you walk to the summit after the main climb are unusual and amazing too. On two occasions we had to shelter from some violent Thunder and Lightning storms before we returned to the car but luckily we were not stuck near the summit when this happened. Dillon (dillonkdy) was glad to be back to the car from this one. Up and back we covered 14 km, a height gain of 470m taking us almost 5 hours including our stops from the weather. See Dillon’s (dillonkdy) full story of his County High Point Challenge at We also found Kieron Gribbon's High Point Ireland website ( to be a useful source of information for our 32 County High Points challenge. Definitely worth checking out if you're planning to do any of the High Point challenges. Linkback:
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