New trail showcases Lough Derg’s natural heritage

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Reintroduced to the South West of Ireland, An Adult White Tailed Eagle catches a fish to feed her chicks.Photo:Valerie O'Sullivan
Reintroduced to the South West of Ireland, An Adult White Tailed Eagle catches a fish to feed her chicks.Photo:Valerie O'Sullivan
Reintroduced to the South West of Ireland, An Adult White Tailed Eagle catches a fish to feed her chicks.Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

A NEW tourist trail showcasing the rich natural heritage of Lough Derg has been developed just in time for the 2015 summer season.

The Lough Derg (on the Shannon) Nature Trail is produced by the County Councils in Clare, Galway and Tipperary, and co-funded by The Heritage Council and Lakelands & Inland Waterways.

The 130-kilometre trail takes visitors from Portumna in Galway down the western shore of the lake to Killaloe, and on to Terryglass in Tipperary on the eastern shore.

The trail, which can be travelled in any direction, includes walking routes, lakeshore access points, bird-watching locations, woodland parks, and quiet spots to enjoy the views of Ireland’s third largest lake.

Among the 24 discovery points featured is the monastic site at Inis Cealtra – known as the ‘Jewel of the Lough’ – as well as the ancient woodlands of Raheen Wood, the sheltered bays and harbours at Mountshannon and Garrykennedy, and the twin heritage towns of Killaloe-Ballina.

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Cllr Mary Hoade, Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council, said: “The high level of involvement from communities around Lough Derg in the design and content of this trail has been instrumental in its development, and is reflective of the community-centred approach to protecting the environment and promoting tourism around the Lough Derg region.

“I am confident this new trail will deliver additional visitors to Lough Derg, as well as economic benefits for the wider local community and tourism sector here in the Lough Derg Region.”

Copies of the Lough Derg (on the Shannon) Nature Trail and accompany guide will be distributed to tourist offices and visitor attractions around Lough Derg.

For more information, see www.galwaycoco.ie.