View MapView Map
HomeIreland's Hidden HeartlandsGreenways and trails in I ...
Discover greenways and trails in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands
Enjoy the fresh air and amazing views on a cycle through Ireland's Hidden Heartlands.
Ireland's Hidden Heartlands logo colour
Stretching across nine counties, the rich, rural landscapes of Ireland's Hidden Heartlands are both rugged and beautiful – and can be explored on one of the many amazing greenways. Visit charming towns, explore historical sites and enjoy delicious food. Set off on a leisurely journey with friends and family and truly explore this beautiful region.

Journey along one of the great greenways and truly experience Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands.

The Royal Canal Greenway

Head to Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and explore our country’s newest and longest Greenway. The Royal Canal Greenway starts in Maynooth, but some of the most scenic stretches and idyllic spots are found between Mullingar and Longford.

The Royal Canal Greenway is flat throughout, making it a great option for walkers and cyclists of all ability levels. Enjoy the 90-minute walk between Coolnahay Harbour and Ballynacarrigy, stopping to watch boats navigate their way through the lock. While in Coolnahay Harbour, warm up with a drink from the Lock 26 Coffee Box.

Cycle the Royal Canal Greenway from Mullingar to Longford for a day out that the whole family will enjoy. The 53km route takes experienced cyclists just under three hours to complete, but the rest of us can hop on at any of the seven trailheads or access points on this stretch. Spend the day alongside the Royal Canal freewheeling under bridges and zipping through the countryside on the old towpath.

Three friends walking along the pathway of the Royal Canal Greenway
Walk or cycle along the Royal Canal Greenway.

Portumna Forest Park, Galway

Travel along the Beara Breifne Way to reach the leafy, sanctuary of Portumna Forest Park. Swoop down to Lough Derg and watch the gentle interactions of nature by the trailside, keeping an eye out for the majestic antlers of the herd of fallow deer.

Let the sprawling ruins of Portumna Abbey, with its ancient stone arches and columns, take you back to the 15th century. Or step into the more regal setting of Portumna Castle, with its spectacular gardens and magnificent manor house reminiscent of the Renaissance. Lose yourself in the fairytale willow maze, where the sweetly fragranced paths are lined with lavender and native fruit trees.

People in Portumna Forest Park in Co Galway
Lose yourself in Portumna Forest Park.

Old Rail Trail Greenway, Westmeath

The Old Rail Trail Greenway begins in Athlone and meanders along for 40km to the market town of Mullingar. Naturally, the scenery and length – taking just over two hours – make it a perfect route for cyclists of all levels. As part of the Midlands Great Western Railway route, you cycle past flourishing small towns and lush countryside.

When you’re in Athlone make sure you stop by the world’s oldest pub – Sean's Bar – for a tipple and a touch of history. Athlone Castle is well worth a visit for a fully interactive experience that brings the castle’s history to life.

Four kids on the Old Rail Trail Greenway in County Westmeath
Take the family for a cycle through peaceful Westmeath.

Cavan Burren Park, Cavan

Find peace on the trails under the misty shadow of Cuilcagh mountain and simply pause to take in the 340 million years old, pre-glacial landscape. Touching the megalithic tombs of our ancestors is the a primal experience that links you back to your roots. Unearthing the hidden treasures of the Burren – its barren sinkholes, fairy forts and breathtaking viewpoints out onto the Lost Valley – will leave you with a new found appreciation of this beautiful place.

Two people walking on a stone wall in Cavan Burren Park, Cavan
Take in the pre-glacial landscape on walks through Cavan Burren Park.

Corlea Trackway, Longford

This 2,200 year old oak timber trackway is one of the most unique paths in Ireland. This well-trodden walkway, preserved in a bog has been left exactly where it was found with the Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre constructed around this amazing archaeological find. After soaking in the local knowledge, set out on a journey across the mosses and heathers of the boglands of Longford to follow this ancient road left by the Iron Age people.

Extend your trip with a journey along the Corlea Amenity Bog Walk, which branches out and leads to the Royal Canal Greenway.

Family walking along the track way at Corlea Bog
Walk the boards of the Corlea Trackway.


East Clare Way, Clare

Experience an epic and remote walk or cycle on the quiet country roads and forest trails of the East Clare Way. The enormous 180km long loop has options for walkers and hikers of all ability levels. Stroll along the edge of Lough Derg outside of Killaloe, climb the foothills of the Slieve Aughty Mountains to Flagmount and explore the forests near Broadford on a mountain bike.

The entire route takes eight days to complete, but the East Clare Way can be broken up into smaller sections to suit your needs. Visit quiet country villages along the way, stop in Scarriff for a hearty lunch, hear some traditional music in Feakle and relax by the water with a spot of fishing in Tulla.

National Famine Way, Roscommon

Learn about one of the most important periods of our history on the National Famine Way in Roscommon. Start your journey at the monumental Strokestown House. Displaying one of the world's largest archives of letters, images and artefacts, the National Famine Museum, Strokestown Park gives you a deep insight into life at the time.

Follow the route from Strokestown House and enjoy the 18km stretch to the edge of the River Shannon. Keep an eye out for bronze sculptures along the way, paying respect to the people who walked the route in hope of finding a better life.

Plot an incredible walking holiday along the National Famine Way which links up with the Royal Canal Way and leads all the way to Dublin.

The Ballyhoura Way

Part of the longer O’Sullivan Beara Trail, the Ballyhoura Way is a 90km waymarked trail that showcases the beautiful landscape of the region. As you head from John's Bridge in North Cork to Limerick Junction in County Tipperary, you'll take in stunning views of lush pastureland, forest trails, and river banks.

As you travel along the Ballyhoura Way, you'll be able to appreciate charming villages like Kilfinane, Ballyorgan, Ballylanders and Galbally. You'll have access to several facilities and services near the trail's seven trailheads if you'd like to take a break and enjoy a hot drink.

Hikers walking up a mountain in Limerick.
Walk the gentle ascent along the Ballyhoura Way in Limerick.
Go car-free in Westmeath

Want to see more of Ireland's Hidden Heartlands by foot and bike? Head to Westmeath for a car-free adventure in Athlone and along the Old Rail Trail Greenway.

Mail Icon SVG

Subscribe now to receive destination inspiration, travel tips, upcoming events and all the best things to do around Ireland.