Visits to Limerick Greenway, the scenic 40km off-road walking and cycling route in the West Limerick countryside, have increased by 52% year on year, in July to October 2022 compared with the same period in the previous year. Visitors from the region, across Ireland and overseas are embracing Limerick Greenway as a recreational amenity, contributing to a total of 834,837 visits to date.
In May this year, Limerick Greenway marked the milestone of over 500,000 visits since its reopening in July 2021, following a €10 million investment by Limerick City and County Council. Limerick Greenway is now celebrating an acceleration of visitor numbers during the summer months and expects to attract a steady flow of visitors to the amenity for the Autumn and Winter months, with a special focus on the upcoming mid-term break.
Limerick Greenway follows the old Limerick to Kerry railway line through the tranquil rural West Limerick landscape and offers visitors a rich experience that centres around accessibility, biodiversity with native species of trees and shrubs as well as wildlife, and heritage with its choice of some of the country’s most historic sites. The Greenway passes via the three market towns of Rathkeale, Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale, through the 115m Barnagh Train Tunnel and across the cast-iron Ferguson’s Viaduct, both restored relics of the 19th century train line.
Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Councillor Francis Foley said: “We are hugely proud of this recreational amenity in West Limerick. Limerick Greenway is a great draw for local, national and overseas visitors and I am delighted to see this increase of visits by walkers, runners, cyclists and those of all abilities. I am also pleased that planned upgrades are in progress which promise to enhance Limerick Greenway and support the region as a whole.”
Gordon Daly, Director of Services at Limerick City and County Council, commented: “Limerick Greenway continues to strengthen its important position in the region’s local economy. With visit numbers increasing by 52% this marks great success for Limerick Greenway in attracting both local visitors and tourists from farther afield and resulting in a great boost for tourism. Visitors over the Autumn and Winter months and during the upcoming mid-term break are sure to enjoy the beautiful landscape and hospitality along Limerick Greenway. We look forward to welcoming more families, groups and individuals to our 40km off-road walking and cycling route.”
The Railway Goods Shed at Rathkeale is to be restored to supply services to Greenway users and will form part of a Greenway Hub that will also include upgraded car parking facilities, with works commencing in the coming months. Limerick City and County Council has also confirmed that it will commence work on a new Greenway car park at Station Road, Newcastle West, in early 2023. In addition, the Council have confirmed it has now appointed architect led design teams to advance the design/master planning on Greenway Hubs at the Ardagh Station house site and Abbeyfeale Railway Goods Shed and car park. These projects will build on the first-class network of visitor facilities already in place along Limerick Greenway.
Limerick City and County Council has completed works on cattle under and over passes on the section of the Greenway from Abbeyfeale to the Limerick/Kerry border. The construction of additional cattle under and overpasses will also be undertaken in the near future.
The Abbeyfeale to Listowel 10.5km extension joining Limerick Greenway to the North Kerry Greenway is expected to officially launch in the coming weeks.
For more information, including bike hire, amenities and itineraries visit limerickgreenway.ie. To follow on social media, use the hashtag #LimerickGreenway and visit the following channels:
- Facebook: @LimerickGreenway
- Instagram: @LimerickGreenway