A walk through the pretty town of Castleconnell, nestled on the banks of the River Shannon, is good for the mind and body with breath-taking scenery only a short drive from Limerick City.
The lazy flow of the river that is enhanced by birdsong, the smell of wild flowers and pleasant atmosphere makes this a place to visit regularly. The car park is a popular area for feeding the feral Mallard ducks and Greylag Geese.
Distance: 6km (for both walks) | Time: 1.5 hrs | Terrain: easy/casual (there are some stiles to climb over).
River Walk 1: Starting at the car park (Point 1), follow the pathway to your left, passing the footbridge that crosses the Shannon. Continue along the path, passing two stiles and into a field. Climb over a low barrier and go on through a third stile. Walk as far as the gate (Point 2). This is the end of the walk. Retrace your way back to the start.
River Walk 2: Starting from the car park (Point 1), exit the car park onto the tarred road and walk east towards Castleconnell, passing the remains of the Castle. Ignore the side streets and turn left at the T-junction. Soon woodland appears on the left. There are splendid views of the Shannon with its weirs and small islands. Follow the road passing Charco’s pub and turn sharp left, which brings you back overlooking the river. Enjoy the pleasant scenery as you walk up to the car park (Point 3). This is the end of the walk. Retrace your way back to the starting point. This walk is suitable for buggies.
Walking distance 6km.
Time 1.5 hrs.
Situated to the east of Castleconnell, this is a large area of cut-over raised bog, most of which is in County Tipperary. However there is plenty to find on the Limerick side. A summer visit is best for wildlife, when the bog comes alive with flowers, insects and birds. It can get waterlogged and muddy during the winter and is therefore not recommended. Best visited from May to August.
Start at McGill’s Garden Centre (Point 4). Cross the Dublin Road (N7) with great care and turn right, where you will meet a bog road on the left. Continue down this; as the noise of the main road gradually fades you will reach the bog itself.
The first track you will meet on the left has become overgrown with vegetation and is worth exploring for a while, as there is a bog pool nearby. Continue along the stony track where you will see a Dirt-bike rally track on the right, which was a disused sandpit.
Pass the second and then a third track, which is a short distance ahead. After a while you will reach the fourth track where our track bends to the right and enters under a stand of willow. Follow the track until you reach the 5th track immediately after a two-storey house (Point 5). Turn left at the side of this house and follow the track. The track finishes at the County Boundary (Point 6), where our walk ends. Return back along the path you have just travelled.
Walking information and map courtesy of Mr. Geoffrey Hunt from his book, Limerick Nature Walks.