Mullingar - Athlone - Old Rail Trail Greenway

Cycling Off Road
County Westmeath
4.2/5
9 reviews
Grade Easy
Length 40 km
Time 3 hours
Format Linear
Ascent 30 m
Dogs Allowed Yes
Waymarking White signs with blue text
Start Point
Mullingar - Athlone
Finish Point
Mullingar - Athlone
Nearest Town to Start Mullingar- Athlone
Grid Ref. N 423 521 / N 066 414
Lat. and Long. 53.517505, -7.367623 / 53.422582, -7.901577

The Old Rail Trail is a rural route through the heart of the Irish midlands connecting the bustling town of Athlone with the market town of Mullingar passing through the town of Moate. The route is 40km along a converted stretch of the former Midlands Great Western Railway and passes through rich fertile farmland away from the hustle of towns.

Trail Management

Westmeath County Council 044 9332000

Facilities

All amenities available in Mullingar, Moate and Athlone

Map Guides

Map Guides

See Downloads

OSI Maps

OSI Maps

Discovery Series Sheets 41, 47 and 48
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Bus and train to Mullingar and Athlone

9 trail reviews
4.2/5
Write your own review of this trail
3/5
08/03/2020

Stephen from Dublin

We did the stretch from Mullingar to Castletown station - 12km, incredibly straight and flat!

Pros: very flat, lots of surrounding farmyards and animals to look at. Excellent smooth surface. Very good trail carpark in Mullingar. Access to the Royal Canal Greenway. Lovely people along the way. Cleanest Portaloo I've ever frequented at Castletown station car park.

Cons: No refreshments en route - had to go via road from Castletown Station to Castletown Geoghegan (5km there and back) where we fortunately found the Forge Pizza Cafe which had only opened 3 weeks, the village grocery shop is not open all day Sunday and the 3 bars were closed due to Covid. We nearly had to go hungry.

Summary: Don't think we'll do this bit again as a family, it was pleasant but a bit boring by the time we were coming back, but we will go back to do the Royal Canal that looked much more interesting in our opinion, mainly because there is some water. Be prepared with food or a proper plan where you can get refreshments. There is predominantly a westward breeze, which suited us so we had a tailwind on the way back, but it was strong at times, so, could be difficult for some on a breezy day.
06/04/2019

Oleksii from Ukraine

Did it from Athlone to Mullingar and back on the same day -- a pity that I had virtually no time to wander around in Mullingar since I was running out of time.

The trail is just amazing -- almost no elevation, 100500 shades of green, world looks monochrome with grey trail, grey sky and green scenery, with patches of blue (when the sky gets clearer) and yellow from the leftover fallen leaves.

Old bridges are awesome, some are green with ivy (should be a creepy sight during winter though). If you are caught in the rain you always are not so far away from one to wait it out.

As mentioned -- seats are scarce, and so are picnic spaces.

Also it connects with another cycle route (Royal Canal something) not far away from Mullingar, so you can go a bit past Mullingar off-road, but I didn't try that.



The only bad thing was the headwind on a back leg of my journey -- up to 35 km/h at times so watch the forecast! (kudos for placing the warning (which I ignored) on the info signs). I had to walk in some places just to keep moving and shift the gear considerably down and I barely made it home. So watch the forecasts and be safe =)
4/5
01/18/2019

Christopher from Dublin

The surface is excellent. Some lovely bridges along the way. Once away from the busier areas, plenty of room for safe blast on the bike. The trees and hedges do offer a nice shelter from the element , trust me, I have been there during the bad weather. With a few simple touches like signs and story of the areas, which are rich with history, it is a wonderful addition to the county. Great thing is that it can lead you off onto areas that you never realized how green and beautiful they are. Favourite parts are Moydrum area near Athlone and the last 10 km before Mullingar
4/5
01/08/2019

Christy from Roscommon

Originally From Athlone, have been using this route regularly for spins on the bike when around. Love it. Done the Athlone to Mullingar and back route a few times, and regularly done the shorter route of Athlone - Moate and maybe a little beyond, depending on the mood.



It might not look flashy with great scenery like other fashionable routes (scenery is lovely by the way, especially if you know the quiet roads around it, some lovely greenery in Westmeath) but my god as a regular cyclist it is very easy to take this wonderful facility for granted. It was the tonic for a recent pre Christmas cycle , with no traffic hassle and it is safe. Did the job nicely



Lovely and peaceful, beats the main roads (which are not that bad to be fair). I have cycled from Dublin to Athlone on the main R148 and R446 a few times and that was a pleasant enough experience, but was always glad to take the cycle way at Moate. A sign at Horseleap for the cycle way could be helpful, as I think there is a entrance not too far away. In an ideal world it would be lovely if a cafe stop was in place at one of the lovely stations but that might not be too feasible.



The people in Moate should be applauded. Nice touch with seats and the station looks great for a stop off point. Likewise the spot around Streamstown - Castletown.



I would love if more is made of the fact that a famous film, The Great Train Robbery, starring Sean Connery, was filmed on this rail line. A sign post with a few photos or two. Like wise maybe a sign with a history of the stations and area, there is history in these areas. It shouldn't cost much to put up a sign or two. I know politics might come in to but it would be great if safe and legal access was possible around the old RTE mast in Moydrum. That area looks lovely



As for the surface, it is brilliant and makes up for the lack of scenery due to the ditch. The bridges are lovely, especially the long one near Mullingar and the route offers a kind shelter from the elements. Can't wait for this route to go West. Must try the Longford route.
4/5
07/21/2018

Jim from Westmeath

As a regular rider from Athlone to Moate i was delighted to see that the grass/weeds/branches have been cut back , good job ,well done . Also pleased to see that the gates/railings are being painted . This was badly needed to preserve the wood .

Would like to see more seating ( well done to Moate ) also rules regarding which side of the trail pedestrians should walk ( Rules of the road ? )
06/22/2018

paul from Galway

I often travelled this route by train which might give a hint of my age. I found this train journey less scenic than the rail route via Tullamore. However it's an excellent biking route - seats in places, and well signposted. I met some people who worked or travelled on the line and, as a result, I became a mine of information for the next people I met. Did it over 2 days - Streamstown/Athlone return 1st day and Streamstown/Mullingar return on another day. Did it twice effectively which means I missed nothing
Email: paulholland54@gmail.com
5/5
07/25/2017

Ed from Cork

I put the bike on the train to Athlone from Dublin and cycled to Mullingar and got the train back to Dublin. Quality of trail is excellent - really good wide surface. It is also very well sign-posted. The only (slight) down-side was the lack of variety in the scenery - very green but a lot of hedgerow (maybe I'm fussy). Moate is a great stop for grub or a coffee - lovely village/town with plenty of choice.
05/22/2017

Brendan from Dublin

Travelled up from Dublin to cycle the trail. Entrance at Mullingar needs a signpost. Had to ask for directions even though the car park is opposite the entrance! Fantastic facility overall. What would make it even better is some seating at intervals throughout.
04/23/2017

Sandra from Galway

great amenity, road surface perfect and trail is virtually uninterrupted. However, signage needs improvement. Little indication of where smaller villages are, just the larger towns. No picnic tables or other points of interest along the trail. A wee bit boring in parts.

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