Lough Navar Forest: Blackslee Waterfall Walk
Aghameelan Viewpoint car park is the starting point for the waymarked Blackslee Trail. Part of the the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, this 6km walk along forest roads makes its way through the oldest part of the forest and leads to a waterfall at its furthest point.
Distance 3.5 miles
OS Map Sheet 17
Nearest Town Derrygonnelly
Route Shape Circular
Grid Reference H061576
Route Type Forest
The highlight of the walk is undoubtedly the secluded Blackslee Waterfall where water cascades over a 20 metre cliff before continuing its journey down an undercut rocky gorge. Through the forest you will also discover some willow sculptures nestled between the trees.
The initial part of the walk takes you along forest tracks, deep into Blackslee Forest through areas of mature planted conifers on the higher ground to areas populated by Willow and Aspen on the lower slopes. In areas where the forest is less dense, dappled light filters through giving rise to delicate woodland plants such as Wood Sorrel, Wild Garlic and Bluebells. A series of forest tracks and paths are linked and zigzag through this forested area, however your path finally veers left. Contouring around a river bank the path leads through deep forest passing the ‘boulder field’ an area of huge sandstone boulders left behind as the ice sheets melted at the end of the last Ice Age over 13,000 years ago.
Continuing uphill the path approaches Blackslee Waterfall, where water cascades over a 20 metre cliff before continuing its journey down an undercut rocky gorge. The gorge is carved from sandstones and mudstones, cross cut by a more resistant rock called dolerite, before flowing into Lower Lough Erne. Depending on the water levels at the time, this beautiful natural feature can range from a mere trickle to a raging torrent. The path continues its gradual climb uphill before adjoining the forest track, the final stretch of the path takes in capitulating stretches through corridors of forest which open to provide fine views over the neighbouring countryside.