Whether you’re planning a healthy walk, a serene cycle or a trip to a paddling paradise, the Blueways in Ireland is a one stop shop for all your outdoor activity needs. Our fabulous places to visit, your local Blueway is a one-stop-shop for free family fun this Easter. Even if you’re stuck in the office, taking to the waterways for a breath of fresh air will bring you closer to nature and leave you feeling refreshed.
The Shannon-Erne Blueway:
Swaying reeds, silky waters and the sound of birdsong – the Shannon-Erne Blueway basks in a tranquillity that few places can rival. But while this delightful stretch of waterway feels glorious serene most times, that’s not to say it doesn’t have an adrenaline-filled wild side. Thrills and spills come thick and fast along the Ballyconnell White Water Trail, which is perfect for testing the skills of proficient paddlers.
Beginning at Lock 2 in Ballyconnell, this section of the Blueway suits experienced adventurists who are happy to tackle the rapids, standing waves, eddies and rock piles along the course.
Adventure of a different kind can be enjoyed with Leitrim Surf Company, which specialises in SUP and surf, with guided stand-up paddle-boarding along sections of the Blueway.
But don’t worry, if a more relaxed approach is your thing, then there are plenty of ways to enjoy adventure of more laid-back kind by canoeing or kayaking with some of the Blueway’s great tour companies, including Adventure Gently Canoe Tours and Cavan Canoeing
Adventure, discovery, relaxation – it’s all in a day’s fun on the Shannon-Erne Blueway.
The Lough Derg Blueway:
With over 13,000 hectares of silky blue waters to explore, the Lough Derg Blueway is one of the island’s finest recreational areas boasting countless trails to enjoy by canoe, paddle board and boat (as well as walking and cycling trails). There are 21 easy-to-follow paddling journeys around the shoreline of the lough, past crumbling castle ruins, pretty little bays, reed beds, fens and wet woodland.
The wide blue sparkling beauty of Lough Derg is electrifying in summer, with its hinterland of rolling green fields and birdlife that includes cormorants, swans, ducks, terns and even the white-tailed sea eagle. Butterflies, damselflies and dragonflies swirl, dive and hover over the lake’s surface, while reminders of human’s presence dot the shorelines and islands from castles to a 6th century monastic settlement. Lough Derg was an essential part of the water highway that reached from the Atlantic to the heart of Ireland. Today, it’s no longer used for transport, but is a top destination for cruisers, boaters, walkers, hikers and water sports enthusiasts and is Ireland’s quintessential “pleasure lake”. Boasting over 179km of indented shoreline, it’s easy to access the water here, whether you want to open swim from one of the lough’s two Blue Flag beaches, paddleboard down Killaloe’s serene canal, or jump on a boat tour. One thing’s for sure, no matter what way you decide to go… getting out on the water is essential.
The Shannon Blueway:
This is where you can walk on water. The Shannon Blueway is home to 100km of paddling trails and the famous Acres Lake Floating Boardwalk near the town of Drumshanbo in County Leitrim. The 'snake in the lake' is a small 600 metre floating walk which connects to a further 10km of walking trails along the north Shannon canals.
If you wish to make a weekend out of it, be sure to hire your bikes from Electric Bike Trails and head for a guided Canadian canoe with Adventure Gently, you can book into one of the best Glamping pods in Ireland with Battlebridge Camping and Glamping, it is sure to be an incredible Easter weekend.