Lough Derg Way

Walking
County Clare
3.6/5
12 reviews
Grade Moderate
Length 68 km
Time 3 days
Format Linear
Ascent 527 m
Dogs Allowed No
Waymarking Yellow arrow on black background
Start Point
Limerick City
Finish Point
Dromineer
Nearest Town to Start Limerick City
Grid Ref. R 577 573 / R 814 860
Lat. and Long. 52.6653, -8.62529 / 52.92455, -8.27658

The Lough Derg Way is a 64km walking route that starts at the Tourist Office behind the Hunt Museum in Limerick City in the west of Ireland and follows the River Shannon and its associated canals northwestwards to the lake port of Dromineer on Lough Derg. Along the way the route passes through the hamlet of Clonlara, the village of O’Briensbridge and the ancient town of Killaloe, which was once home of the famous 11th century High King of Ireland, Brian Boru. Killaloe is a heritage town, and interested walkers will want to linger at St Flannan’s Cathedral with its early Christian oratory. Lakeside and waterside sections of the route offer fine views. Terrain consists mainly of canal and riverside paths at the southern end, and mainly country roads at the northern end, some sections of which can be hazardous with fast-moving traffic. Other than at the start in Limerick, there are very limited options for public transport connections along the route. For more information follow link to Shannon Region Trails - Lough Derg Way

Trail Management

Limerick Tourist Information Office, 20 O'Connell Street, Limerick.
Tel: 061-317522
Email: limericktio@failteireland.ie
Web: www.shannonregiontourism.ie/

Facilities

Car parking
At Start - car parks in Limerick City
At End - car park on lake shore in Dromineer

38 kms or 55% of the Way follows local roads. There may be some waymarking issues.
PLEASE NOTE that this trail may currently be closed on the UL Campus due to works being carried out there at present.

Map Guides

Map Guides

Shannon's Lough Derg Way Walking Trail - Shannon Development

OSI Maps

OSI Maps

Discovery Series Sheets 58, 59 and 65
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

At Start: Bus to Limerick Check with with Bus Eireann.
Rail to Limerick Check with Iarnrod Eireann.
At End: None

12 trail reviews
3.6/5
Write your own review of this trail
4/5
06/29/2021

Gerry from Clare

Walked this trail over two days recently. The weather on the first day in May was showery and overcast at times but the walk from Limerick to Killaloe is quite interesting. It is mostly flat and easy walking and it may be advisable to undertake some level of research before you undertake the walk so that you can watch out for various engineering feats on the canals etc. and don't miss the rope marks on the Errina Canal Bridge. The route is very well waymarked throughout although I did ask for directions in UL just to make sure I was heading in the right direction. Shortly after leaving the Headrace Canal at Parteen Weir you encounter a stretch of fast road where you need to be very careful. Thereafter it is quiet country roads all the way to Killaloe. All in all a very good day's walk in my opinion. The second day was a beautiful warm day in June when I undertook the walk from Killaloe to Dromineer. With hindsight this is a long distance to cover in one day. The first half of the journey to Garrykennedy could be described as awesome with magnificent views in all directions from Tountinna and there are also a number of landmarks to be observed each with their own history. By the time you get to "The Lookout" you have finished with the tough climbs and while you are still a distance from Dromineer the walking is not too strenuous. Again the waymarking is excellent in the most part. Just before The Callows I ended up in a newly built shed/yard and could not find a waymarker thereafter. I was lucky enough to encounter a fisherman and when I mentioned yellow waymarkers he advised that there was waymarkers down near where he was fishing earlier so I headed in that direction and picked up the trail. I did not have any difficulty with overgrown parts on the trail as others did or with cattle in fields etc although I did encounter very many cattle on the trail. I might just add that these are "working farms" that the owners have allowed us walkers enter onto and we must ensure we stay safe at all times. While various stretches of the trail are on road overall I really enjoyed it and my compliments to all those who maintain the trail. However I fully accept that for walkers who are not familiar with livestock their enjoyment could be curtailed.

NOTE FROM SPORT IRELAND OUTDOORS: We have received confirmation that the issue at the farmyard mentioned above is currently being addressed with a temporary re-route expected to be in place by the end of July and a permanent re-route to follow.
4/5
03/21/2021

Noelle from Tipperary

We walked from Carhue to Youghalarra - it has been relatively dry recently so the conditions were good enough. No overgrowth, no farm animals, no barriers to stop us. Lots of ducks and swans obviously beginning to nest.
08/26/2019

Lyn from Limerick

I set out today with a friend to finish the Lough Derg Way by walking the section across the Callows from Youghalarra to Corraquil that I had missed out on. I had enjoyed all the other sections from Limerick to Dromineer. What a disaster of a day! All the "trail" along the top of the banks was overgrown with nettles and briars as high as our knees. Even the stiles were overgrown making it impossible to see the steps and get over them safely. We had to slash our way through with walking poles and ended up covered in nettle stings, even through a walking trousers. It was appalling!

I had previously seen a report by Tough Soles (9 June 2018) about this section but had been informed that it had been dealt with. That is not the case. If this section cannot be maintained properly the trailhead in Dromineer should be removed and the Way end at Youghal harbour.
2/5
07/15/2018

Lisa from Dublin

August 2016: we went walking on part of the Lough Derg Way with visitors from South Africa and the U.K..There were not only cattle, but a bull, in a field above the lookout car park between Portroe and Killaloe - we had to simply turn around. There was a walkway fenced off at the side of the field but it was completely overgrown. I am only sending this now as I didn’t know how to complain, but it was simply disgraceful from a tourism perspective.



There is also a field about 4 k from Dromineer that has to be traversed as part of the Way. There is no cordoned off area and not only is it covered in cattle dung, but there is direct access for cattle to drink and leave their dung in the lake.



Unnecessarily disappointing- this trail has huge potential but should be closed or properly maintained, the condition is not up to international standards.
11/02/2017

Noel from Waterford

I walked the Limerick to Killaloe section (again) on 31.10.2017 and it was delightful: apart from a little amount of passable mud on one short section. As before, I had no problem, and I recommend this trail to anybody interested in the history and geography of the Lower Shannon navigation. Arm yourself with a little info on developments since 1750.
5/5
10/29/2017

Noel from Waterford

In the company of four others in their 60s, I walked this trail from Limerick City to Killaloe in Nov. 2015 and I enjoyed the experience immensely, all 26km (there was a slight hiccup as maintenance had begun near the start of the walk). Due to our late-ish start, it was virtually dark when we reached Killaloe, so we had to be careful on the by-road.

All five of us have walked in Spain, Portugal, Isle of Man, Italy and many other places, and we had no difficulty on the Lough Derg Way; we found the terrain and signage acceptable, we never felt at risk from any hazard, and we had many suitable places to stop for a rest or a picnic.

I enjoyed the walk so much, I'm returning tomorrow (late October 2017) with a friend, not least as the experience is a very useful exercise in understanding the geography of the Lower Shannon.

07/21/2017

ray from United Kingdom

the lough derg way is a total disgrace,the section between the university bridge and gillogue bridge[clare side of river] is impassable totally covered in nettles,briars and low branches,after every shower of rain large puddles of water have to be avoided
2/5
07/04/2017

John Ryan from Kildare

A beautiful trail absolutely ruined by lack of maintenance and poor signage. We found ourselves in an almost dangerous situation where the only way forward or back was through nettles and thistles. Added to this were the "watch out for the bull" sign in one field we walked through and in an attempt to break a stick from a tree to trash away the nettles and thistles I received an electric shock from the fence over which the ladder was ,

to continue on the trail. This is the trek from Dromineer to Garrykennedy. A disgrace and a huge pity considering what it could be.
09/09/2016

Áine Mc Carthy from Tipperary

Steve,



Thank you for your review of the Lough Derg Way. Maintenance work took place on the walk during the summer but there has obviously been a huge burst of growth in the areas you have highlighted. These areas will be addressed immediately by our team to ensure the linear walk is maintained to the highest standards and contiunes to be an enjoyable experience for walkers who can take in the magnificent views of Lough Derg along the route. We hope you will revisit again in the future.

Áine Mc Carthy

Tourism Officer - Tipperary County Council.
2/5
09/07/2016

steve from Galway

This trail needs a lot of work in places or should be taken down from the website list.



Even though it's not easy to get linked to these trail details from the home page for some reason I'd read the complimentary comments on the Lough Derg Way from Trish and was looking forward to a rewarding 3 day hike in good weather.

Trish's review, below, is accurate for the first days section to Killaloe although the path works from the uni should be over soon.

Leaving the waters behind as you enter Tipperary there's a long climb to the top of the Arra Mountains on a delightful track with fantastic views over the whole route before descending steeply to farmland and minor roads that lead you back to the lake at Castletown bathing beach.

From there the trail is pleasant and pastoral but tarmac to Garykennedy and a couple of km beyond.

If it's wet at all you'd best take your gaiters for the cross country section next up and once you get past Youghal into The Callows your'll need a slasher or machete to force your way through the overgrown brambles, thistles and nettles till you hit a road again after a long couple of km.

This unmaintained section put me off risking any of the later lake side route around Ryan's Point. A great pity as I have a feeling that could have been a highlight.

Instead I took to the back roads, rejoining the Way a km from the finish.

I'm not sure what we have to do to ensure that trails listed on the website are maintained in a usable condition but a drive to recruit local volunteers may help.

One thing is certain, leading foreign walkers miles from anywhere into an impenetrable obstacle course will not enhance Ireland's reputation as a green destination for hiking.

The full story of my 3 day trek can be read on stevebarhamramblingman.wordpress.com

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