The 40 km (24.8 miles) greenway from Rathkeale to Abbeyfeale runs along the former rail line from Limerick to Kerry.
As people across Ireland look for new outdoor activities to enjoy this summer, the brand new €10 million Limerick Greenway officially opens to public today.
The new-look walking and cycling route is being called the biggest outdoor tourism amenity project ever undertaken in Limerick by its City and County Council.
Get into the great outdoors – the perfect way to see Ireland
The €10 million Limerick Greenway, opening to the public today, stretches over 40 km (24.8 miles) from Rathkeale to Abbeyfeale.
The regenerated route was designed with the intention of bringing more tourism to the city. Future plans to link the new route to the Kerry Greenway are also on the table.
Currently, you can access the newly renovated greenway from various points. These include Ardagh, Rathkeale, Newcastle West, Barnagh, Templeglantine, and Abbeyfeale.
Lots to enjoy – lots of amenities
Hospitality businesses along the new €10 million Limerick Greenway are providing links to bike hire, pick-up and drop-off services, and overnight accommodation packages.
As the route passes through several major and smaller towns, there are also many cafes and restaurants to stop off at for a pick-me-up along the way.
According to the Irish Times, chair of West Limerick Tourism Olive Sheehan pointed out many main attractions along the way.
She highlighted “the hub” at Baragh. Here, you’ll find a café, a kids’ playground, and a place for visitors to leave their dogs.
A historic trail – a glimpse into Ireland’s past
The €10 million Limerick Greenway has been built along the former Limerick-to-Kerry train line. Thus, it is brimming with historical sites to explore.
The historic rail route opened in stages between 1867 and 1880 before its eventual closure between 1975 and 1977.
Highlights include the 19th-century station houses at Ardagh and Barnagh and the 115 m (377.3 ft) Barnagh tunnel. Other things to check out along the historic route are the cast-iron Ferguson’s Viaduct and Desmond Castle.
One of several new routes – regeneration across Ireland
The opening of the Limerick Greenway is part of an exerted effort by Ireland’s tourism authorities to regenerate the country’s outdoor attractions.
The colossal Royal Canal Greenway, the longest greenway in Ireland at 130 km (80.8 miles), was launched earlier this year.
The government has set aside further funding of €63.5 million for various off-road walking and cycling attractions throughout 2021.
This includes €9 million for the New Ross to Waterford Greenway and €10 million for the Midleton to Youghal Greenway in Cork. €5.5 million will also go towards expanding Mayo’s Great Western Greenway.