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Ulster Way: Part 1 Belcoo to Mellon Country Inn

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Photo ofUlster Way: Part 1 Belcoo to Mellon Country Inn Photo ofUlster Way: Part 1 Belcoo to Mellon Country Inn Photo ofUlster Way: Part 1 Belcoo to Mellon Country Inn

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Trail stats

Distance
82.43 mi
Elevation gain
5,955 ft
Technical difficulty
Easy
Elevation loss
5,938 ft
Max elevation
1,382 ft
TrailRank 
55
Min elevation
65 ft
Trail type
One Way
Time
5 days 3 hours 15 minutes
Coordinates
7122
Uploaded
May 12, 2022
Recorded
April 2022
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1,382 ft
65 ft
82.43 mi

near Belcoo, Northern Ireland (United Kingdom)

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Trail photos

Photo ofUlster Way: Part 1 Belcoo to Mellon Country Inn Photo ofUlster Way: Part 1 Belcoo to Mellon Country Inn Photo ofUlster Way: Part 1 Belcoo to Mellon Country Inn

Itinerary description

The E2 European Long Distance Path was intended to extend from Galway in Ireland to Nice in France, however the Irish section has not been defined. So in the 50th year of the E-paths I have been following a possible route in Ireland, linking up various National Trails. This section uses the Ulster Way, excluding the optional loops.

This part of the Ulster Way is mainly on quiet roads and forest tracks through farmland, conifer plantations and moorland. There is only one tricky part through pathless bog by Bolaght mountain. Many lakes or "loughs" can be seen from the route and there are a few hills and mountains that you can climb. Starting from the village of Belcoo, the trail visits Belleek and Pettigo. The Drumskinney stone circle adds archaeological interest.

More details in my blog: https://johnpone2.blogspot.com/search/label/Ulster%20Way .

The previous section of my walk across Ireland is at https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/cavan-way-102520857 . The next section is at https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/ulster-way-part-2-mellon-country-inn-to-coleraine-103682117 .

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Waypoints

PictographProvisioning Altitude 0 ft
Photo ofBelcoo

Belcoo

Belcoo is a village in Northern Ireland just across the border from Blacklion in the Republic of Ireland. There is accommodation, a bar, shop and other facilities.

PictographSummit Altitude 1,553 ft
Photo ofBessy Bell

Bessy Bell

Bessy Bell is a mountain from which there should be a panoramic view, although on the day I climbed it, low cloud hid all but the trig point and radio mast.

PictographOvernight Altitude 0 ft
Photo ofCamping spot by stream in Braden Forest Photo ofCamping spot by stream in Braden Forest Photo ofCamping spot by stream in Braden Forest

Camping spot by stream in Braden Forest

I was struggling to find a good flat spot to camp in the conifer plantation of Braden Forest but then I came across this pleasant place by a stream.

Photo ofDrumskinny stone circle Photo ofDrumskinny stone circle Photo ofDrumskinny stone circle

Drumskinny stone circle

A Neolithic stone circle just beside Ulster Way. Some of the stones have MOF carved into them, maybe symbols of the Ministry of Finance who once "cared" for the site.

PictographProvisioning Altitude 0 ft
Photo ofBelleek

Belleek

The western most village in the UK and Northern Ireland, Belleek lies just on the border with the Republic of Ireland on the other side of the River Erne. There is accommodation, shops, places to eat and a pottery.

Photo ofKeenaghan Abbey Photo ofKeenaghan Abbey Photo ofKeenaghan Abbey

Keenaghan Abbey

Only a few walls remain of the church of Keenaghan Abbey, which dates from 888, however there is a graveyard outside with more recent burials, including one of a member of the Fenian brotherhood, who sought independence for Ireland. The Abbey is a short distance away from the Ulster Way beside Keenaghan Lough.

PictographSummit Altitude 0 ft
Photo ofLittle Dog Mountain Photo ofLittle Dog Mountain Photo ofLittle Dog Mountain

Little Dog Mountain

Little Dog and Big Dog are two hills. Once, so the story goes, a giant by the name of Finn McCool had two Irish Wolfhounds, a large breed of dog. Bran and Skeola, for those were the dogs' names, caught the scent of a witch and started chasing her. She ran for her life, but although she changed into a deer they were still gaining on her. So she cast a spell and turned them into hills thereafter called Big Dog and Little Dog (although their heights are rather similar). There is a path up Little Dog from close to Lough Nabrickboy and sheltered benches at the summit.

PictographLake Altitude 0 ft
Photo ofLough Formal Photo ofLough Formal Photo ofLough Formal

Lough Formal

Lough Formal is a pretty lake beside the Ulster Way, behind it are two hills, Formal Môr and Formal Beg. There is a path up Formal Môr and you can admire the view from the summit, At its base is a picnic table and tools for (?)changing bike tyres.

PictographOvernight Altitude 203 ft
Photo ofMellon Country Inn Hotel

Mellon Country Inn Hotel

The Mellon Country Inn lies just off the Ulster Way and is a convenient place to stay and/or eat.

PictographProvisioning Altitude 0 ft

Riverbank café, Pettigo

Pettigo is a small village with shops. There is also a café at the Termon Complex where they serve breakfasts, coffee, scones etc.

Photo ofSaint Patrick's Holy Well Photo ofSaint Patrick's Holy Well

Saint Patrick's Holy Well

I past a number of Holy Wells in my trip across Ireland, this one was on the outskirts of Belcoo. This holy well is actually a spring, walk through it barefoot to relieve some suffering.

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