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Smith’s Strand – Enniskillen

This 2 day trip will take you from Smith’s Strand on Upper Lough to the county town of Enniskillen with an overnight camp along the way.

17.5 (28Kms)
Nearest Town
Route Shape
Flat Water
OS Map
Lough Erne Activity Map
Access Point
Smiths Strand - GR H342294
Egress Point
Lough Erne Activity Map - GR H232438


Points of Interest

 Carrybridge, Enniskillen Castle


This itinerary has been compiled using an estimated paddling speed of 2.5 miles (4 kilometres) per hour and also allowing time for lunch breaks and many photo opportunities along the way.  Please check forecast and in particular wind strength and direction before departing.

Day 1 Smith’s Strand GR H342 294 – Carrybridge GR H295 375 6.25miles  (12km)

 Parking is available at Smith’s Strand or next door at the Share Discovery Village.  Camping is available at Share for those who wish to stay overnight to get an early start the following morning.  Smith’s Strand to Carrybridge provides typically beautiful Upper Lough Erne conditions providing a maze of islands, bays and sheltered channels.  If there is a strong northerly breeze then more shelter can be found along the eastern shores.  Naan Island (GR H236 391) provides an excellent lunch stop-off. 

Carrybridge is 4km from the beginning of a river section joining Upper to Lower Lough Erne.  Look out for the white water level recording session which is a great marker for the start of the river section.  A small rough campsite (with basic toilet block and fresh water is available) for a few tents on the north side of the bridge and the east side of the river (GR H295 375). Alternatively, accommodation is provided at the Carrybridge Hotel. 

Whether a resident or not, the hotel is a popular spot with locals for food and drink – a great way to sample the “craic”.  Carrybridge is a popular waterskiing location during the summer months so exercise caution when approaching.

Day 2 Carrybridge GR H295 375 – Enniskillen GR H231 440 10 miles (16km) 

Continue north along the river towards the county town of Enniskillen.  This flat water river offers a choice of ways to Enniskillen with the western branch being the shortest.  Bellanaleck Jetty GR H236 391) is an excellent lunch stop.  The village of Bellanaleck is only a 500m walk away and offers a well stocked local shop and The Sheelin Bar and Tea Shop.


On reaching Enniskillen be sure not to miss the opportunity to view the impressive Watergate at Enniskillen Castle which is just opposite Castle island (GR H231 440) were rough camping is available.  The activity centre is unfortunatley temporarily closed.

The best place end your trip is at the Lakeland Forum Car Park (GR H232 438).  Turn up the small river before the Lakeland Forum Building where there is a slipway and jetty right beside the car park for easy egress. 

Getting to the Start

Directions from Belfast 83 miles (133km)
Take the M1 which turns into the A4 near Dungannon.  Follow sign along the A4 to Enniskillen. Turn left at Maguiresbridge taking the A34 to Lisnaskea.  Turn right at the mini-roundabout in Lisnaskea and follow the brown tourist signs to the Share Centre and on to your destination.

Directions from Dublin  105 miles (169km)
Take the M1 Northbound to Junction 14, turning onto the N33 for Ardee.  From there join N2 to Monaghan then N54 to Clones. Upon crossing the border follow A34 to Newtownbutler, then Lisnaskea. Turn left at the mini-roundabout in Lisnaskea and pick up brown tourist sign to the Share Centre.  Follow these to your destination.

The shuttle is 15 miles (30 miles return).  On entering Enniskillen from Belfast turn left after the South West Regional College (large white building) following signs to Dublin, then turn left at the Ulsterbus depot.  The Lakeland Forum is straight ahead.

Parking is possible at the egress point in the Lakeland Forum Car Park.  From there drive back through Enniskillen to Lisnaskea following aforementioned directions from Belfast.  Parking is also available at Smith’s Strand or the Share Holiday Village

There are a number of canoeing activity providers, based on Lough Erne who can provide a shuttle service. 

Photo Gallery

itinerary photo
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