Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark launches Ireland’s longest coarse gravel cycle trail: The Scarplands Cycle Trail

18th June 2024

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Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark has launched the longest coarse gravel cycle trail on the island of Ireland, The Scarplands Trail.

The cycle route, which starts in the picturesque village of Belcoo and ends at Lough Navar Forest  in Co. Fermanagh, with the reward of unrivalled panoramic views of Lough Erne, leads you through Forest Service lands on a 60km linear route coarse gravel trail with 1,880m elevation, making it a trail for biking enthusiasts.

In addition, there are a number of shorter loops to be enjoyed on the trail including the Aghnaglack loop at Ballintempo Forest and the Lough Navar Forest loop, awarding cyclists the opportunity to complete over 100km of trail. To enjoy this unique offering, it is recommended that users have sufficient water, food and a bike repair kit on hand.

Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor John McClaughry, said,

‘The development of The Scarplands Trail has been a true partnership effort between Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Northern Ireland Forest Service and the local business community. Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is committed to improving the district and providing the best quality experience for everyone who lives in and visits the area, and we are very pleased to help develop this new leading bike trail.

Whilst The Scarplands Trail itself is primarily for those with knowledge and experience of gravel cycling, it is one of many cycling and walking trails across the Geopark which offer a unique opportunity to access and enjoy this stunning landscape.’

Chair of the Geopark Committee, Councillor Anthony Feely said:
‘The launch of The Scarplands Trail is a positive development for local businesses to engage with and to benefit from the Geopark.  This unique trail will attract cyclists from across the island of Ireland, the UK and Europe which provides opportunities for our accommodation providers, eateries and support services such as bike repair providers to generate income and contribute to sustaining our rural communities.’

Brian Leonard from Corralea Activity Centre, a member of the Geopark Business Sustainability Network, who was one of the drivers for the establishment of The Scarplands Trail, added:

‘Works have been ongoing for a number of years to get to this point and it is great to showcase to the world the quality and range of trails we have in this area that can be enjoyed by so many. It is great that the Geopark is committed to further enhancement of the trails and we look forward to working with them to achieve that.’

The Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark contains some of the finest landscapes on the island of Ireland. Straddling counties Cavan and Fermanagh, the Geopark ranges from rugged uplands, lakes and forests through to gently rolling drumlins, representing a complex Earth history dating back as far as 895 million years ago. The Geopark has over 50 sites allowing visitors to explore the history, geology, and special nature of the region.

Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark is jointly managed by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and Cavan County Council.
This project was financed by Fermanagh & Omagh District Council and Landfill Communities Fund.

For more information on The Scarplands Trail, visit:

Image credit: Darren Tapp (daz_the_cyclist)