Calling all nature enthusiasts and avid walkers! Athlone is not only known for its rich history and vibrant town centre but also for its breathtaking natural landscapes. Lace up your walking shoes and get ready to embark on a journey through some of the most picturesque trails in the area. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful escape, panoramic views, or a chance to immerse yourself in nature, Athlone has it all. Join us as we explore five scenic walks that will leave you in awe of the Midlands’ beauty.
Lough Ree East Nature Reserve
Step into a world of tranquillity at the Lough Ree East Nature Reserve. This stunning location offers a variety of walking trails that wind through woodlands, wetlands, and along the shores of Lough Ree. Immerse yourself in the captivating sights and sounds of nature, spot unique bird species, and take in breathtaking views of the lake. With its diverse ecosystems and peaceful ambience, this reserve is a must-visit for nature lovers.
The Golden Mile
On a sunny day or evening, there’s no better way to soak up the beauty of Athlone than by exploring the Golden Mile Looped Walk. This picturesque trail spans 5.3 kilometres in a loop, guiding you along the tranquil River Shannon and canal, and back again. It’s the perfect opportunity to bask in the sun, unwind, and enjoy the gentle breeze as you watch the boats gracefully pass by.
Clonown Road Loop
Escape to the countryside on the Clonown Road Loop, a charming walk that combines rural charm with breathtaking views. As you traverse the loop, you’ll pass through rolling green fields, picturesque farmland, and quaint villages. Take your time to soak up the peaceful atmosphere and admire the beauty of the countryside that surrounds Athlone or join the many avid joggers who populate the loop most days of the week!
Old Rail Trail Greenway
Experience the scenic beauty of the Old Rail Trail Greenway as you hop on your bike and set off from Mullingar. This dedicated cycle path follows the historic Midlands Great Western Railway track, guiding you through arched bridges, a tunnel, and breathtaking countryside, all the way to Athlone. Suited for individuals of all ages and fitness levels, this off-road trail provides a safe and enjoyable cycling experience. Take your time to explore the charming villages along the way and immerse yourself in the unique biodiversity and heritage of the area.
Shannon Banks Nature Trail
Let the Shannon Banks Nature Trail beckon you with its captivating beauty and tranquil ambience. Starting from the rear of Athlone Castle, this enchanting 5km looped bi-directional walking trail takes you along the picturesque banks of the River Shannon and the old Athlone Canal. Immerse yourself in nature’s wonders as you encounter four informative boards detailing the diverse flora, fauna, wildlife, and fish that grace the walk. With the sun warming your back and the gentle sound of water lapping at your side, indulge in a leisurely stroll along the Shannon Banks Walk
The trail meanders through lawns, grassy verges, and parklands, bordered by majestic Sycamore, Norway Maple, Red Oak, and Horse Chestnut trees. As you walk, the melodic calls of Moorhens, Herons, Coots, and Little Grebes will serenade you, gliding gracefully over the water. This scenic walk not only showcases the vibrant wildlife but also offers an ideal way to explore Athlone town. And after a day of exploration, the lively pubs await to treat you to a well-deserved meal and drinks, completing a perfect day in Athlone.
Athlone is a haven for nature enthusiasts and walkers, offering a variety of scenic trails that showcase the beauty of the Midlands. From nature reserves and lakeside walks to countryside loops and historic routes, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So, get the right shoes on, breathe in the fresh air, and embark on an unforgettable journey through Athlone’s stunning landscapes. These five scenic walks will leave you with lasting memories and a deep appreciation for the natural beauty that surrounds this charming town. Get ready to explore the Midlands on foot!