Lough Derg Way

County Clare
14 reviews
Grade Moderate
Length 68.9 km
Time 3 days
Format Linear
Ascent 527 m
Dogs Allowed No
Waymarking Yellow arrow on black background
Start Point
Limerick City Arthur’s Quay
Finish Point
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/


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

14 trail reviews
Write your own review of this trail

Angela Mullins from Dublin

We completed the way from Dromineer to Limerick. The first day was 20 miles because there is a lack of accommodation on this route, same for day 3 from Killaloe to Limerick city, this was 19 miles for us. Parts of the road section is dangerous a passerby picked us up they were local and saw us on the road, concerned for us, they offered us a lift to our Air bnb. The way is altogether beautiful, peaceful for the most part and inclusive of both flat road and hill walking. Yes there are fields and livestock but sticking to the farm code, edge of the field walking you should be fine. Some very curious cows though that did run over to us with some disgruntled and that was slightly scary! We walked For about 4 miles after Obrien Bridge area along the river before reaching the end which was completely barricaded up by Irish Water for no reason at all causing a massive nuisance for us, it was torrential rain and we had to climb a steep muddy embankment up to the road to get off this pathway. Its well sign posted but we had a free hikers App. We had all kinds of weather be prepared. I'd recommend this route but advisable to walk it in 4 or 5 days not 3.

Val from Clare

Walked from The Lookout to Youghalarra cemetery. Mostly road to Garrykennedy but beautiful views. Leaving Garrykennedy the walk is on a busy main road for 10 mins or so, with only a very small section with a foot path. Crossed over a very overgrown stile to leave the main road behind and from there on it was poorly maintained with poor signage in some fields. Nearly all of the stiles had electric fences at the bottom, which we had to cross over. Thankfully most were not live but we had to test them to see, I don't understand why they are there? Most of the fields we crossed had blocked off access to the trail by electric fences and and we had to either cross over or under them to stay on track. If it wasn't for the hiker app we wouldn't have found our way in some fields as there was absolutely no signage. Definitely the worst section that we have walked so far since Limerick. With all the electric fences blocking access, I would advise anyone to give it a miss.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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

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.

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