Enjoy a pleasant walking trail along Kildare’s canals and towpaths. Along the way you’ll spot heritage gems like centuries-old and still-functioning canal locks and carefully-restored lock-keepers cottages.
Built during the canal-boom of 18th century, the first works were carried out at Hazelhatch in 1756. However due to numerous difficulties the route took almost 50 years to come to fruition, completing its journey to Shannon Harbour in 1803.
The main line extends 132km from Dublin to the Shannon with 40km passing through County Kildare. The Grand Canal included several branches which extended to Athy, Naas & Corbally and Milltown.
Talking walkers through some of Kildares most scenic small towns and villages, like Ardclough, Salllins and Roberstown, the Grand Canal Way follows pleasant grassy towpaths and tarmac canal-side roads all the way to Shannon Harbour.
For a shorter stroll the route can easily be split into sections, but if you feel like giving the whole route a shot, the many towns and villages on the route provide walkers with accommodation and village cafes.
Visitors can also rent barges for a leisurely cruise or explore on a kayak or canoe to enjoy the scenery and wildlife, or stop off for some fishing.
For a map and more information, click here.
Works are ongoing to develop sections of the towpath to Greenway standard. During the development, there may be some restrictions to your journey.
Starting at Hazelhatch the Canal is cyclable on a tarmac surface all the way to Ponsonby bridge beyond Ardclough.
The section from Sherlockstown to Sallins can be wallked and cycled but only while using a mountain bike. Robertstown to Lowtown is perfect for walking and cycling and following the main Grand Canal line from Lowtown to Ticknevin bridge is also fine for walking and cycling.
The section from Tickernevin to Edenderry is an open bogland and is only suitable for walking. The last section of the Grand Canal into Edenderry Harbour is a paved surface and is perfect for walking and cycling.