Dust off your boots and get out and about to explore the beautiful walks around the Lakelands Lough Derg region. Whether you want to go for 2 to 3 days or experience a quick looped walk, here are some our recommended routes.
Take 2-3 days on the Lough Derg Way (Limerick to Dromineer)
The Lough Derg Way is a 64km linear National Waymarked Way walking route that starts at the Tourist Office behind the Hunt Museum in Limerick City and follows the River Shannon and its associated canals northwestwards to the lakeside village of Dromineer on Lough Derg. Along the way the route passes through Clonlara, O’Briensbridge and the heritage towns of Killaloe Ballina, which was once home of the famous 11th century High King of Ireland, Brian Boru. The route continues onto Garrykennedy and Dromineer with fine views of Lough Derg along the way. The Lough Derg Way is best accessed at one of five key trailheads, which provide information map boards and car parking. The trailheads are located reasonably close to other services and facilities, such as shops, accommodation, restaurants and public transport. The trailheads are located in Limerick City, Clonlara, Killaloe/Ballina, Garrykennedy, and Dromineer. To do the entire walk takes approximately two and a half days. Base yourself in Killaloe Ballina overnight which is over half way and choose from a good selection of accommodation choices from the Lakeside Hotel to B&B’s in the towns. The vibrant towns have plenty of cafes, restaurants and bars to entertain you after a long days walking.
Take 2 to 3 days on the East Clare Way (Whitegate to Killaloe Ballina)
The East Clare Way is circular National Waymarked Way Walk long distance walking route starting and finishing in Killaloe and is rated easy to moderate, even though it includes several hill walking sections. It is 172 Kilometres (108 Miles) in length and ascends almost 3,000 Metres (10,000 Feet). It is made up of 8 Sectional walks ; it is possible to walk it comfortably in 8 days and it can be accessed at any one of 9 Trailheads – Killaloe, Broadford, O’Callaghan’s Mills, Tulla, Feakle, Flagmount, Whitegate, Mountshannon, and Scariff. Terrain consists of mainly quiet tarmac roads, forestry tracks, bog roads, open ground and field paths. This is a route that will appeal to walkers who like a bit of wilderness and are interested in monuments of the past, as the rare hen harrier, the merlin and herds of Sika deer may be spotted along the way, which is scattered with dolmens, holy wells and ancient churches, one of which, at Tuamgraney, was frequented by the 11th century High King of Ireland, Brian Boru. To do 2 to 3 days along the route closest to Lough Derg, we recommend that you start in Whitegate, stay overnight in Scariff or Tuamgraney and then continue the next day onto Killaloe Ballina.
Spend a day in the forest – Portumna Forest Walks
Portumna Forest Park has a selection of 4 trails to choose from which include the Rinmaher Walking Trail, the Woodland Walking Trail, the Forest Friendly Walking Trail, and the Bonaveen Walking Trail. The 4 looped trails in the park range from a multi-access trail suitable for all visitors of approx 1km in length, to a long multi-use trail of over 10kms for walkers and cyclists. Pack a picnic and spend a day in this majestic forest park which covers 450 hectares and dominated by a canopy of coniferous woodland. The Bonaveen Walking Trail brings you right to the shores of Lough Derg with excellent viewing points. The forest park has parking, toilet and picnic facilities.
Short walks with great views
The Millennium Cross, Ballycuggeran Woods & Tountinna on the Lough Derg Way offers the best viewing points to see panoramic vistas of Lough Derg.
Visit our walking section under Activity Breaks for maps and more information on the walks around Lough Derg