Rent bikes for all the family at Buckley’s Cycles and explore for yourself or join a guided tour with Midlands Cycling Tours. The route is suitable for all ages and bike types and you can tackle the entire route staying over along the way or just explore part of the trail on your visit to Westmeath. Read on to discover three scenic routes you can explore on the Old Rail Trail Greenway – why not take on all three for the perfect short break?
Athlone to Moate
Though the full Old Rail Trail is mostly flat, the stretch from Athlone to Moate is perfect for beginners. Start in the heart of Athlone for this 14.5km cycle. Travel over Crosswood Bog’s natural heritage area, stopping to bask in the tranquillity and startling natural beauty of these boglands.
Follow on through lush green landscapes, before reaching the restored Railway Station buildings in Moate. This is the perfect opportunity for a rest at Dún na Sí Heritage Park, where history and nature meet – a beautiful setting to take a break and soak in the stunning scenery.
Moate to Castletown
Sail over some gentle slopes on this 16.3km route from Moate to Castletown – even novice cyclists or younger kids can manage the slight change in terrain. Journey through the stunning countryside on the way to the preserved historic Castletown Station building. Opened in 1851, it was in use for more than 100 years and can still be explored today.
Pass under the iconic three arched bridge at Streamstown and take a short diversion before you reach Castletown to savour the majesty of Uisneach. Once the seat of the High Kings of Ireland and thought to be the burial site of the Earth goddess Éiru and the sun god Lugh.
Castletown to Mullingar
The last stretch of the Old Rail Trail Greenway is the shortest of the three routes at 11.4km, but you can expect some more gentle slopes along this cycle. Follow the old railway through the sheltered countryside from Castletown.
Feel dwarfed as you pass under the majestic masonry stone arch railway tunnel to meet the Royal Canal Greenway at Newbrook and admire the views as you cycle along the canal’s path. It’s an easy spin into the bustling and historical hub of Mullingar.
If you’re an experienced cyclist, keep peddling to reach the River Shannon in Longford, or even head straight to the capital, on the Greenway extension to Dublin City.