The initial 6km stretch of Ireland's South East Greenway, running from New Ross to Glenmore and featuring views of the Pink Rock area and the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge, was opened today, July 25 in New Ross, Co Wexford.
"Delighted to open the first phase of the South East Greenway in New Ross today," TD Jack Chambers said on social media after the opening.
"It’s the start of a fantastic route which will open up the South East region linking Wexford, Kilkenny and Waterford enhancing tourism and active travel for all."
🚴♀️New Greenway Opening 🚴♂️
Delighted to open the first phase of the South East Greenway 🚲 in New Ross today.— Jack Chambers TD (@jackfchambers) July 25, 2023
It’s the start of a fantastic route which will open up the South East region linking Wexford, Kilkenny and Waterford enhancing tourism & active travel for all. pic.twitter.com/vs4xGKdHlC
The South East Greenway is designed to connect the Norman Town of New Ross to the Viking city of Waterford through the scenic countryside of South Kilkenny and skirting close to the beautiful River Barrow.
The 24km off-road cycling and walking trail will follow the line of the disused New Ross to Waterford Railway and passes through the Mount Elliott Tunnel and over the Red Bridge.
The Greenway will provide an attractive amenity for visitors to the area as well as providing an environmentally friendly alternative for commuters into Waterford and New Ross.
It will ultimately form part of a longer Greenway from St Mullins in Carlow to the Waterford Greenway and Dungarvan. (From St Mullins, long-distance walkers can follow the River Barrow to Kildare and then the Grand Canal to Dublin).
The South East Greenway is a joint initiative of Wexford County Council, Kilkenny County Council, and Waterford City & County Council, supported by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
Minister @jackfchambers opens Phase 1 of the South East Greenway🌤️🌲🚶
Approx. 6km in length from New Ross to Glenmore, it is the first part to open of the 24km South East Greenway
Greenway provides:July 25, 2023
🛴wheeling & more
Speaking about the Greenway, TD Chambers said: “A figure of €8 million has been invested by the Department of Transport in developing this wonderful Greenway route to date.
"This investment signals the Government’s commitment to provide high-quality cycle infrastructure that will generate many benefits for cyclists and communities across Ireland.
"This Greenway will encourage greater levels of travel via cycling and walking rather than private car use amongst leisure users, tourists, and commuters.
"The opening of this route along the River Barrow and its connection with the Waterford Greenway will, in due course represent a valuable tourism amenity in Ireland in attracting visitors to Ireland’s Ancient East.”
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The South East Greenway now joined the other six Greenways in Ireland, many of which are now well established.
Here's a rundown of the current greenways in Ireland
The Waterford Greenway was opened in 2017, it provides 46km of glorious car-free pathway stretching all the way from historic Waterford City to the beautiful seaside town of Dungarvan in west County Waterford. The Comeragh Mountains provide a dramatic backdrop to a breathtaking journey across eleven bridges, three viaducts, through a 400-meter-long tunnel, along the lush banks of the River Suir, all the way to the scalloped beaches of Waterford’s famed Copper Coast.
Great Western Greenway
The Great Western Greenway was completed in 2011. This panoramic 42km route, which winds its way along the coast of Clew Bay, was the longest greenway in Ireland.
Today, more than a quarter of a million people use the Great Western Greenway annually, all attracted by the traffic-free natural environment and the ever-changing and beautiful views over Mayo’s mountains, bogs, farmland, and dramatic Atlantic coastline.
The Great Western Greenway follows the line of the old Midlands Great Western Railway, which closed in 1937.
Old Rail Trail
The Old Rail Trail begins in the bustling town of Athlone and ends in the elegant old market town of Mullingar, Co Westmeath. Between these two cultural hotspots, you will hear nothing but birdsong and the whirr of the spokes on your bike as you lose yourself along the spectacular 43km cycle path.
The Old Rail Trail is a converted stretch of the Midlands Great Western Railway carved through rich fertile farmland and leads visitors through the very heart of Ireland. The route traces the historic Midlands Great Western Railway track, past restored station houses and under pretty stone-arched bridges. Linking the mighty River Shannon in Athlone with the Royal Canal in Mullingar, it passes through areas of unique biodiversity and heritage along the way.
The Limerick Greenway in Limerick is a 39 km off-road walking and cycling route along the old railway line that connects the three lovely market towns of Rathkeale, Newcastlewest, and Abbeyfeale in west Limerick.
The Limerick Greenway provides a journey through the wonderful built and natural heritage of the countryside and villages along the route. Along the journey, you will encounter Norman castles, abbeys, medieval ruins, workhouses, famine graveyards, deserted railway stations, a viaduct and breathtaking scenery!
Royal Canal Greenway
The Royal Canal Greenway, at 130km is the longest off-road Greenway in Ireland. The Greenway runs along the towpath of the Royal Canal which was constructed between Dublin and Longford at the turn of the 18th century to connect the River Liffey to the River Shannon.
Suir Blueway (Greenway)
The Suir Blueway in County Tipperary opened in 2019. The Suir Blueway runs for 53km in an east-west direction from Carrick-on-Suir to Cahir via Clonmel, in County Tipperary. The route is made up of a walking/ cycling trail for 21km which runs from Carrick-on-Suir to Clonmel and a further 32km of waterway along the River Suir which can be canoed or kayaked. It is the river-based element of the route that makes it a Blueway rather than a Greenway!
For further information about the South East Greenway check out southeastgreenway.net.