Ireland’s network of greenways continues to grow, with two new routes showcased this week in Co Kerry.
The Listowel to Limerick Greenway is a 16km trail that connects Listowel with the Limerick Greenway at Abbeyfeale.
The Tralee to Fenit Greenway stretches 13.6km from Tralee to Fenit Harbour, with stunning views of Mount Brandon and Tralee Bay along the way.
Both follow the old Limerick to Kerry railway line, and are being marketed as “Kingdom of Kerry Greenways” and part of a broader network that will in future include the South Kerry Greenway from Glenbeigh to Cahirciveen.
Currently under construction, that 27km route will open in phases as sections are completed in 2024 and 2025.
“The greenways are situated in some of Kerry’s most scenic landscapes and offer spectacular and safe off-road facilities for people of all ages to enjoy as the landscape comes into bloom,” said mayors of Tralee and Listowel, Cllr Mikey Sheehy and Cllr Aoife Thornton.
With the clocks springing forward, Kerry County Council is encouraging people of all ages to start clocking up the “Kingdom kilometres” on foot or by bike.
Kerry County Council is also planning a new greenway between Tralee and Listowel, which will link the Listowel-to-Limerick and Tralee-to-Fenit greenways.
In other greenway news, Limerick City and County Council is set to commence construction of a new greenway hub at Rathkeale this month.
The 40km Limerick Greenway reopened after a €10m reboot in 2021, and runs from Rathkeale through Newcastle West to Abbeyfeale. Over one million visits have been recorded on the route.
The €1.9m hub at Rathkeale will feature a restored 19th century railway goods shed, and include bike hire, visitor facilities and recreational space, as well as mobility car-parking spaces and electric vehicle charging points. It will be completed by December, the Council says.
“Limerick Greenway is a precious amenity for local, national and international visitors and we are committed to ongoing works to restore historic gems such as the Railway Goods Shed, and to enhance services at each of the visitor hubs along the route,” said Gordon Daly, Director of Services at the Council.
The Council also has plans for a new greenway car park in Newcastle West, and greenway hubs using restored historic buildings in Ardagh and Abbeyfeale. A design team has also been appointed to prepare plans for more works on Barnagh Station House.
Feasibility studies looking at extending the Limerick Greenway, including from Rathkeale to Adare and Patrickswell are also underway, it said.
Greenways have mushroomed across Ireland since the Great Western Greenway blazed a trail on the old Westport to Achill railway line over a decade ago.
“Ireland has some of the most amazing outdoor spaces,” said social media influencer Sarah Hanrahan, who attended the new Kerry greenways showcase this week.
She added that “connecting with green spaces” has become as important to many people’s sense of wellbeing as their health and fitness.
For more, see kerrygreenways.ie and limerick.ie/greenway.