The Midlands is fast-becoming a destination for cycling enthusiasts across Ireland. Award-winning cycling trails can be found in a number of locations, offering something unique to everyone from the experienced mountain biker, to gentle dedicated cycling paths for families.
The longest mountain biking trails across Ireland and the UK can be found in the Slieve Bloom Mountains of Laois and Offaly. Designed to suit mountain biking enthusiasts of all abilities, the trails offer everything from moderate Blue Trails, to difficult Black Trails. The trails run to over 75km, and can be accessed from trailheads in Kinnitty and Baunreagh.
The award-winning Royal Canal Greenway follows the Royal Canal in a project that runs from the Shannon in Longford, through Mullingar, and to Maynooth in Kildare, with plans to take the route all the way to Dublin in development.
The enchanting Royal Canal Greenway is 130km of level towpath, ideal for cyclists of all ages and stages, as well as walkers and runners. The trail follows the 200 year old canal, with cafés, picnic spots and attractions along the way. Rustic and industrial landscapes combine, with rolling fields, pretty waterside villages, working locks and historic landmarks.
The Grand Canal Greenway follows the towpath of the Grand Canal, which runs from Offaly through Kildare and into central Dublin. Plans to develop the full route are well advanced with the majority of Offaly work completed around Tullamore and the surrounding areas, with branches reaching out into Westmeath.
The Greenway is perfect for cycling as well as walking, connecting to towns, villages and various tourism attractions along the way.
The Old Rail Trail begins in the bustling town of Athlone and ends in the elegant old market town of Mullingar, County Westmeath. Between these two cultural hotspots, you will hear nothing but birdsong and the whirr of the spokes on your bike as you lose yourself along the spectacular 43km cycle path. The Old Rail Trail is a converted stretch of the Midlands Great Western Railway carved through rich fertile farmland, the Old Rail Trail Greenway leads visitors through the very heart of Ireland. The route traces the historic Midlands Great Western Railway track, past restored station houses and under pretty stone arched bridges. Linking the mighty River Shannon in Athlone with the Royal Canal in Mullingar, it passes through areas of unique biodiversity and heritage along the way.