The battle at Ballinamuck marked the heavy defeat of the main force of the French incursion during the 1798 rebellion in Ireland. Today, a memorial statue of a rebel pikeman (erected in 1928) dominates the centre of the village. In recent years, the village has benefited (in terms of fame) from the success of Thomas Flanagan's historic novel The Year of the French and the subsequent film.
The name Ballinamuck is derived from the original Irish language name Beal Atha na Muice, which means 'the mouth of the ford of the pig'. According to legend, a famous black pig rooted up a trench, from the Dane's Cast in Armagh through Ballinamuck until it arrived at the Ford of Lough Gowna, where a man struck it with a stone and thus put an end to the pig's rooting!
The walk in this area is splendid, and the quiet rural village is an ideal base for fishing, cycling and observing nature.
A-B: Starting from the trailhead, follow the purple arrow along the surfaced road for 200m (passing a roadway on your right) to reach the start of a gravel road on your left. Turn left here and follow the road into the bogland area. After another 200m, you'll reach a T-junction from where the loop proper begins. Turn right here.
B-C: Continue to follow the purple arrows along the bog road for 500m to reach a green track on your left as the road turns right. Turn right and continue along for a further 500m to reach a T-junction with a surfaced road. Turn left, follow the road for 200m and turn left into the bog again.
C-B: This section of the bog road is less travelled and gravel soon becomes grass. Watch for sections where people still cut and stack turf to be taken home and used as heating fuel. After 1.5km you regain the junction at B above. This time, turn right.
B-A: Follow the gravel road for 200m to rejoin the surfaced road, turn right and enjoy the 200m back to the trailhead.