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Fishermen near Holy Island on Lough Derg, Photograph by John Kelly.

Taking a trail around Lough Derg

A new trail showcasing the rich natural heritage of Lough Derg will be officially unveiled next week.

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 in Clare, and back up on the eastern side to Terryglass in Tipperary. The stops along the route, which can be travelled in any direction, include walking routes, lakeshore access, great bird watching locations, woodland parks for adventuring, and quiet spots to enjoy the beautiful vistas 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 Portumna Forest Park, Derrycrag Wood, Raheen Wood and Cominchas Forest, the sheltered bays and harbours at Rosmore, Mountshannon and Garrykennedy, and the twin heritage towns of Killaloe-Ballina.

Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council,John Crowe said “The outstanding natural heritage of Lough Derg enhances the visitor experience by providing a range of vistas, sights,sounds and places to explore and opportunities to experience, many of which are featured in this wonderful new trail.”

Each of the discovery sites selected for inclusion in the Lough Derg Nature Trail featured in the Natural Heritage Audit of Lough Derg (on the Shannon) produced by Dr Allan Mee and Shane O’Neill and written by Dr Janice Fuller.

According to Ms Congella McGuire, “Clare County Council is delighted to have played its part in developing a trail around what is a largely undiscovered natural amenity in the heart of Ireland. This trail provides visitors and locals alike with a continuous guided tour around Lough Derg in the Lough Derg Region taking in some of the best scenery and natural sites that Ireland has to offer.”

The new trail will be officially launched at a seminar being held at The Workhouse Centre in Portumna, next Thursday.

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