On a clear day, fourteen counties are visible from this walk.
The “Tra” walk gets its name from the prominent lankmark – Lough Antrawer – that you pass along the way. The walk traverses through forestry tracks and upland blanket bog of Sliabh Beagh. Enjoy panoramic views as you approach the summit of Sliabh Beagh. On a clear day, fourteen counties are visible from this walk.
The loops begins and ends at the Sliabh Beagh Hotel and whilst it is mostly off-road, the stretches to and from the hotel are on-road for short distances and care should be taken where no footpath is available.
From the hotel you can follow this walk in either direction. The following account is based on an anti-clockwise direction, turning left from the hotel. Follow the road with care for half a kilometre until the route turns into a minor country road that is closed to traffic (apart from agricultural access).
The walk moves uphill past the small enclosed fields of the lowlands towards the blanket bog and open grazing of the uplands. As you climb the hill you will no doubt stop to catch your breath and enjoy the fine views southwards into the midlands. Moving on you’ll pass the local sandstone quarry from where the beautiful golden sandstone of Sliabh Beagh is cut for facing and ornamental work.
Turning left at Lough Antrawer, the route shares part of the Sliabh Beagh Way, crossing two feeders of the lake and of the Blackwater. Towards evening the calls of grouse, snipe and skylark mingle across the heather tops in a final flurry of song before slowly giving way to the stillness of the night.
The path continues on the far side of the cutting. If you’re passing in early summer you’ll see the white heads of the Bog Cotton plant bobbing in the breeze in the wetter cutaway areas. Just ahead of you – about 100 meters – is the border with County Fermanagh into which the Sliabh Beagh Way continues. To the north lies the “Three Counties Hollow” where the Ulster counties of Fermanagh, Tyrone and Monaghan meet.
The path moves along past a very rich uncut blanket bog area and then down through forestry plantations towards the Fivemiletown Road. This area is popular with wild goat and deer as they are never too far from forest cover. A short stretch of road brings you back to the Sliabh Beagh Hotel.