Rathkeale is one of the oldest towns in the country and this walk takes you past some of the sites of major interest.
The Rathkeale Slí route is a 3.1km circuit of the western side of town, extending from the centre of town into rural surroundings.
It has a blend of the old and the new as the western part of the walk passes over the permanent way of the original Great Southern and Western Railway line (Limerick - Tralee). See Great Southern Greenway for more.
From the centre of town, the route traverses the old Limerick - Killarney road over the River Deel. At the Deel Bridge, walkers can divert for a stroll along the river.
The route continues along Church Street, so named because of the Church of the Holy Trinity (Church of Ireland) to which is attached the No.2 National School. Continuing onto the top of the hill on the left-hand side is the Marian Shrine and across the vista to the right can be seen Glebe Castle and the outline of Castle Matrix.
The route then veers sharp right down towards the Rathkeale By Pass (N21) and another sharp right at Castle Matrix to follow the trail of the now dismantled railway line.
The route now runs in an easterly direction parallel to the Rathkeale By Pass (Limerick - Killarney Road). This is an area of quiet rural splendour of green fields, trees and shrubs, and here you will cross the River Deel again. You then pass by the old railway Station now the Palatine Heritage Centre.
Returning towards the town centre you pass St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church and St. Anne’s Convent of Mercy before returning to Main Street having completed your 3.1Km Slí Walk.
Route can be walked in either direction and is recommended as a daytime walk.
Slí na Sláinte
Slí na Sláinte stands for 'path to health'. Developed by the Irish Heart Foundation, it's the new outgoing way to make walking for leisure and good health even more enjoyable.
Already, it's capturing the attention of the young and old, not only in Ireland but in Europe and other parts of the world too! And no wonder, because it's a fun healthy way for the average adult to accumulate the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity, on most, preferably all days of the week.
Marked by bright colourful signposts which are not numbered and are situated at 1 km intervals, you'll find Slí na Sláinte walk routes all over Ireland.
Simply follow the Km signs, set your pace to suit your enjoyment and you'll quickly feel better and get fitter. You will also experience a great sense of achievement.