Shannon Erne Waterway
Running between Leitrim Village and just north of Belturbet, the Shannon-Erne Waterway links the two great waterways on the island, the Erne System and the Shannon Navigation.
The Shannon-Erne Waterway was known as the Ballinamore and Ballyconnell Canal and opened in 1860. Re-opened in 1994 after restoration, it is 63km of river, lake and still-water canal. It takes approximately 13 hours to travel and is known as the location where Ireland's 'little people' originate!
The waterway has opened a countryside which few had ever seen and over the past two decades this tranquil stretch of water has grown in popularity, particularly in the towns and villages along its length. Cruisers and barges move freely along its waters, mooring up in some of the six fully serviced public marinas found along its length. Sixteen locks are managed electro-hydraulically by a smart card which helps ease your passage through the locks. A number of boat hire companies offer barges and cruisers for weekend trips or week long journeys. This is a popular option as you can visit both the Shannon and the Erne with ease.
At the heart of the Shannon-Erne Waterway is its tranquillity. Relax and restore your strength, while contemplating how to spend your time; as well as carefree cruising there are walking and cycling trails adjacent to the waterway. These include The Ballyconnell Canal Walk, Ballinamore Canal Bank Walk and Cycle Route, Leitrim Village to Kilclare Walk and the Kingfisher Cycle Trail which has its starting point in Ballinamore. There are mountains for the more adventurous and a myriad of wildlife, including swans and otters. Anglers will find a paradise of fishing and local people more than willing to point you to the best spots and there are several golf courses in the area. Click the See & Do tab above for more information.
Canoeing and rowing are also popular with the rowing clubs based in Belturbet and Carrick-on-Shannon taking full advantage of the waterway, with canoeists using the many slipways to gain access. It won't take long before you're on your way to tranquil settings, a wonderful array of islands and welcoming villages and towns with all the entertainment that they have to offer.
Click to view our Navigation Guide.