An Creagán Biodiversity Trail
An Creagán Boidiversity Trail provides a safe and friendly place to de-stress in a uniquely tranquil and picturesque environment. Starting from An Creagán the walk begins with a Biodiversity Trail and a series of panels on the plants found on the bogs of Creggan. The walk continues through the forest where a variety of wildlife can be observed, the trail makes its way along the Glasagh Burn with beautiful views of Cashel mountain. The walk makes its way past an open raised bog and returns to An Creagán.
Distance 3 miles
OS Map Sheet 13
Terrain Gravel / wooden boardwalk
Nearest Town Carrickmore / Creggan
Route Shape Circular
Grid Reference H624788
Route Type Forest, Riverside
The Biodiversity Trail is a short walk which lets you get a feel for the Sperrin landscape and is fully accessible for buggies and wheelchairs. As you approach An Creagán visitor complex, turn left and walk up the slope between the large stones at the beginning of the route. As you come to the brow of this incline you will have a view to your left across a 22 acre (9 hectare) remnant of the once much larger Creggan Bog. This is a small piece of undeveloped raised bog which is home to unique colonies of plants including 14 different types of sphagnum moss, cranberry, crowberry, bilberry and the insect eating sundews, amongst others. A gravel path leads you along the edge of this bog with a short board-walked outshot giving you the chance to get out into the midst of this soft, peaty landscape without getting your feet wet. At intervals you will come across interpretative panels which give a description of some of the native plants.
Continuing along the gravel path you will notice to your right the hollowed out landscape of a decommissioned gravel quarry. Closed since the 1960s it is now populated by willow and birch with a system of ponds running through the quarry floor. These are home to the protected smooth newt as well as our common frog, who puts on rather a spectacle during the spawning season when they gather in their hundreds in search of a mate. You will come to a junction where you take the right fork through a wooden gate marking the entrance to the quarry, now known as the “Wild Woods” and used by groups of young children for natural, outdoor play. Pass through the gate (leaving it in the position you found it, open or closed!) and you will see how the vegetation changes in this gravelly, well-drained soil – a stark comparison to the moist peat of Creggan Bog. Bell heathers, gorse, bramble and devil’s-bit scabious reside here, amongst others.
The steep sides of this quarry provide a glimpse into history, where glacial activity once deposited mounds of sand and gravel before the “big thaw” allowed the surface to re-vegetate and lay down peat, which can be seen as a distinct layer on top. As you gradually descend you will pass three man-made ponds on your left before coming to a second gate which marks the exit of the Wild Woods and the entrance to the community garden. Past the raised beds you will come to Ballybriest Wedge Tomb on your left. A nice example of its type and once housing cremated remains and assorted grave offerings, it was relocated here in 2001 as it was threatened by development in its original position on the slopes of Slieve Gallion. Passing the duck pond on your left you will come to the courtyard of An Creagán centre and back to your starting point.
See the range and variety of the habitat, visitor centre
Follow the A505 toward Cookstown. The An Creagan Centre is 13 miles along the road on the right handside. Park at An Creagan Visitor Centre
Translink Journey Planner – http://bit.ly/1Wwefae
Dogs must be kept on leads
Parking, Visitor Information Office, restaurant, accommodation and toilets. Centre opening hours apply. The following facilities are available for users with limited mobility: – Café – Café (wheelchair accessible) – Shop – Shop (wheelchair accessible) – Visitors Centre – Disabled toilets
- The path may not be hard and firm in all weathers with loose stones (not bigger than 10cm) with occasional tree roots and pot holes and will be at least 80cm wide for its entire length.
- The path gradients and cross slopes will be greater than 6°.
- Obstacles such as steps or stiles are to be expected and surface breaks may be larger 75mm in width.
- There will be a clear head height of greater than 2.10m for the entire length of the route.
- Passing places and rest areas may not be formalised or provided.