Ireland’s Grand Canal is a living, breathing, snake-like waterway stretching from Dublin in the East all the way West, to the mighty Shannon River. Embellished with flora, fauna, built heritage and changing landscapes the Grand Canal is a feast for the senses.
On any given day you may stumble across a multitude of interesting subjects including people, boats, cyclists, swans, the jet-like kingfisher, a sleepy village, or a mighty pike resting alone in the shallows. An adventure does await you attendance.
Below you will discover tips and useful information from VisitOffaly.ie about the Grand Canal Greenway.
Visit their Website for more information to help you plan your trip to County Offaly.
The Grand Canal Way is an historic walking trail which traverses Leinster from Ringsend in Dublin City to the River Shannon at Shannon Harbour in County Offaly. The route is punctuated by canal locks, lock houses and industrial architecture from bygone days. The route is currently being re-purposed as the Grand Canal Greenway. This greenway will follow the pleasant canal towpath, which was formally used by powerful draft horses pulling barges laden with goods and passengers.
The Offaly section of the Grand Canal Greenway will stretches from Edenderry in the east to Shannon Harbour in the west of the county. The Tullamore to Lough Boora Section of the Greenway links two landmark sites along Ireland’s Ancient East – Tullamore DEW and Lough Boora Discovery Park. The 22km journey westwards offers historic sites and rural tranquility in abundance.
The current stage from Digby Bridge to the east of Tullamore to Henesey’s Bridge west of Rahan is largely in place, a distance of 13km. Be prepared. Although much of the route is off-road, you still need to take special care through the urban area of Tullamore and on two on-road sections. There are working farms along the route so take care of farm traffic. Beware of open deep waters of the canal. Ensure you have the fitness and time for the walk or cycle; check the weather forecast and be prepared for changing weather conditions.
Offaly County Council are currently in partnership with Waterways Ireland and Bord na Mona working towards completing a full off-road Greenway west from Tullamore to Lough Boora Discovery Park and eastwards to Daingean. Watch this space!
Be considerate of other people. This is a mixed use route – while walking, beware of cyclists approaching. Cyclists should use a bell to alert walkers. Park appropriately and do not block entrances or other cars. Leave gates as you find them and do not damage property.
Respect Farm Animals and Wildlife. Keep a safe distance from farm animals. Leave habitats, plants and animals as you find them.