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Canoeing

Canoeing

From touring to white water, canoeing on Ireland’s Inland Waterways spans the range of experience.

Lower Bann

Canoeing on the Lower Bann is an ideal way to get a glimpse of countryside few people ever see in this rural river valley. The Canoe Trail developed on the Lower Bann provides excellent information for independent travellers who want to paddle & camp or stay in B&B's along the river. Bring your own canoe or kayak or hire your equipment and a guide from some of the companies in the listing. The locks are staffed to facilitate passage.
The rainfall catchment for the Lower Bann is about 1/5 the area of Northern Ireland so the river levels and the challenge can change quite rapidly during periods of heavy rainfall.
The Canoe Association of Northern Ireland(CANI) organise recreational paddles throughout the year some of which may take place on the Lower Bann. 
 

Erne System

The Erne system is a paddler's paradise, loads of island stop-offs, heritage and archaeological sites you can only access by boat, as well as towns and village you can drop into if the fancy takes you. A Canoe Trail developed for the Upper and Lower Lakes takes into account some of these and provides camping and equipment hire locations all along the way. There is only one lock on the system and it is open most of the time. The system terminates on the downstream side of the bridge in Belleek Village just before eel nets cross the river. Canoeists wishing to travel beyond the nets, onto Lake Asseroe which was created by the damming of the river are advised to portage from Belleek Public Marina to below the marked off area about 1km beyond the village.
The Canoe Association of Northern Ireland(CANI) organise recreational paddles throughout the year some of which may take place on the Erne System. 
 
 

Shannon-Erne Waterway

The Shannon-Erne Waterway is an ideal waterway for those new to paddling and/or camping. The lakes interspersed with river and canal sections provides variation, shelter and Kingfishers. The locks are operated with smart card and canoes can be brought through on a long line. With good timing and forewarning the patrollers can assist paddlers through the 'smart card' operated system. The 6 service blocks some urban, some rural have jetties, slipways, car-parking, showers, toilets and small grassy areas and are super overnight camping grounds. Linked at either end by the Erne System and the Shannon, the Shannon-Erne Waterway is a great stand-alone trip or can be integrated into a longer journey.
 

Shannon Navigation

Canoeing on the Shannon is a journey of contrasts with wide open empty stretches of lake-filled horizons interspersed with narrow bustling stretches taking-in towns and villages. Suitable for the intermediate to experienced long distance paddlers used to planning passages, dealing with windy conditions  in the wide open stretches and with other boat traffic.
There are twelve locks on the Shannon which each take up to 6 vessels. Best advice is to portage around the locks altogether.
A Canoe Trail is under development on the Lough Derg portion of the Shannon which will greatly assist people new to the area to enjoying the assets of this region.
In the Republic of Ireland, canoeing is governed by the
Irish Canoe Union
 
 

Barrow

The Barrow is a wonderful place for padding with wide, river sections along tree lined shores interspersed with canal sections which bypass the weirs on the system. A good mix of urban and rural stretches Of course the weirs make ideal locations for white-water kayaking and a number of clubs use the Barrow for this purpose particularly in high winter water levels.
There are many clubs and companies using the Barrow specifically as it provides this variety throughout the year. Check out the business listing to see who is operating.
 

Grand Canal

Paddling along the Grand Canal is reminisant of the journeys for which the Canal was actually built; you are travelling at the pace of the horse-drawn boats that carried the hops, wheat, and various other goods to Dublin. Passing through a mainly rural environment, the unique perspective and quiet  gives you the opportunity to come along wildlife, before it has time to hide. The kingfishers, in particular, flashing blue and orange lead you along the canal til you reach the end of their jurisdiction - just to make sure you leave!. The urban passages are equally amusing as normal day to day living, tension and stress takes place on the streets around you but you paddle through into the open expanse beyond.
Combined with the recently reopened Royal Canal and Shannon Naivgation the Grand Canal forms a 350km circular loop called the Green and Silver, an ideal holiday adventure. 
 

Royal Canal

The Royal Canal apart from providing a long distance canoe trail with plenty of villages and towns along route is also a major Canoe Polo location on the inland waterways.  Canoe Polo Clubs compete regularly using the canal and provide great animation for the towns and villages in which they are based.

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Why not try Canoeing on...

Paddling on the Lower Bann

Lower Bann Navigation

Canoeing on the Lower Bann is an ideal way to get a glimpse of countryside few people ever see in th...

Erne System

The Erne system is a paddlers' paradise, loads of island stop-offs, heritage and archaeological ...

Shannon Erne Waterway

The Shannon-Erne Waterway is an ideal waterway for those new to paddling and/or camping.

NEW...

Shannon Navigation

Canoeing on the Shannon is a journey of contrasts with wide open empty stretches of lake-filled hori...

Barrow Navigation

The Barrow is a wonderful place for padding with wide, river sections along tree lined shores inters...

Royal Canal

The Royal Canal apart from providing a long distance canoe trail with plenty of villages and towns a...

Grand Canal

Canoeing on the Grand Canal is an 131km long distance route with a difference. you are the main inte...

Select your waterway...

Barrow Navigation

​​​​​Winding its way through peaceful woods, fertile valleys and picturesque villages the Barrow is fully navigable for 68km from Athy to St. Mullins. A significant canalised waterway right up to the 1950’s the Barrow’s industrial past saw commercial barges carrying consignments of barley to the Guinness Brewery in Dublin and later, supplying beet to Ireland’s first sugar factory at Carlow.

Erne System

​The Erne System has its share of dramatic landscapes and historical treasures; the monastic round tower at Devenish Island rising up from the Lough, the ruined remains of Tully Castle, the picture postcard image of Enniskillen’s medieval castle on the edge of its island banks and the National Trust’s Castle Coole and Crom Estate all compete for your attention.

Grand Canal

​Built amid the 18th-century canal fever that swept across Ireland, the 144km Grand Canal stretches across the country from Dublin to the Shannon.

Lower Bann Navigation

​The Lower Bann is navigable from Lough Neagh to the sea at the Barmouth between Castlerock and Portstewart Strand.

Royal Canal

​The Royal Canal, on its 146km journey from the River Liffey in Dublin to the Shannon, passes 46 working locks, 10 of them double-chambered.

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.

Shannon Navigation

​The Shannon is a treasure waiting to be discovered. The longest river in Ireland, the River Shannon and its lakes are a bustling, colourful navigation.​

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