Shannon Banks Nature Trail

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Source: Ericchubb

Copyright: Creative Commons 3.0

4.95 km
14 m

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Last verified: 3 April 2024

Description by the author

With the sun on your back and water lapping at your side, take a stroll along the Shannon Banks Nature Trail. It begins in the shadow of Athlone Castle in the heart of Athlone twon and leads you along a path that’s bursting with a diversity of wildlife. This 5km looped trail follows the peaceful River Shannon banks and the historic Athlone Canal.

There are 8 information boards along the trail with information on the unique history and biodiversity of this area. From Moorhen to Heron and from Coots to Little Grebes, you’ll hear the birds sing as they glide over the water.

Boats passing through Athlone nowadays use a lock in the river, located beside the weir and downstream of the current road bridge. Before this was constructed in the 1840s, boats used a canal, about a mile and a half long, to the west of the river. The canal now serves as a distinctive feature of local heritage and has been restored and cared for by the local community.

Along the route is an island, modern and man made, a product of the Shannon Navigation Works of 1840. The island formerly called 'Dead Man's Island' is known as 'Charlie's Island' in memory of a man who lived there on a beached house boat and travelled to work daily by boat.

Part of the overall Shannon Banks Nature Trail is known locally as the Golden Mile, a popular shorter stretch at the northern part of the loop. 


Source: Visit Westmeath

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