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Co Limerick: one walk, one run, one hike, one swim, one cycle, one park and one outdoor gym

Your essential, outdoor, family-friendly guide to Co Limerick

When the weather is good, there is so much to do outdoors in Ireland – solo, or with family or friends. Here are seven activities - with locations, descriptions, tips and some maps for a general guide.

Below you can read John O'Dwyer's pick for a great walking path, Conor O'Keeffe on a running route, Rozanna Purcell recommends a hiking trail, Mary McCarthy on an outdoor swimming location, Ian O'Riordan picks a cycle trip, Sylvia Thompson on a family-friendly park and Fiona Alston selects a popular outdoor gym.

And remember, whatever you do and wherever you go, please be safe. And enjoy.

Name Glenisca trail
Distance 3.6km loop
Approximate duration 1 hour
Difficulty Easy
Starting points Google Map Curraghchase Forest Park carpark (grid reference R 412 492); you can follow this Sport Ireland guide; admission fee €5
Amenities Parking and cafe
Follow in the footsteps of the poet Aubrey Thomas de Vere through broadleaf, conifer and yew forests at Curraghchase Park, the ancestral estate of the de Vere family. As a bonus, the trail circles picturesque Glenisca Lough.


Name: Ballinaboola Loop
Grade: Moderate
Length: 10km
Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Format: Loop
Ascent: 200m
Waymarking: Purple arrow
Start/finish Point: Ballinaboola Woods Car Park, Ardpatrick

Route information: This loop takes you on forestry roads and tracks as it ascends the shoulder of Knockduv Mountain before descending and running below the Knockduv ridge and Knocknatallig, giving views over the surrounding countryside of the Golden Vale. It is crossed in places by cycle tracks. (Aided by: Coillte)

Hike name Blackrock Loop, Seefin Mountain
Distance 11km
Elevation gain 570m
Approximate duration 2.5-3 hours
Difficulty Advanced
Starting point See
Amenities Parking (fee), picnic tables, toilets
Dog-friendly? No
Tips If you are looking for a lighter hike, why not do the Seefin summit out and back, a cool 5km, and intermediate.

Name: Glin pier
Location: Google Map: Glin village (the pier on the N69 is signposted here)
Description: Shannon estuary
Amenities: Limited parking, two changing huts, toilet in the summer
Lifeguard: June bank holiday. July and August
Water Quality: Good status EPA report
Tips: Shannon Estuary is tidal, check the TidesNearMe app. There are a number of landmarks used by local swimmers to gauge distances, for example, out to the green sign and back 3km/out to the sticks and back 800m. Running jump off the pier is local favourite. The Knight walk is great to do in Glin afterwards

Name: The Great Southern Trail
Start location: Rathkeale
Also known as the Limerick Greenway, a fully off-road cycling and walking route in five sections along part of the old Limerick-Tralee railway line that connects the three market towns of Rathkeale, Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale in West Limerick.
Distance: 40km.
Time: 2-3 hours
Highlights: The Barnagh Tunnel and old viaduct by the River Deel
Look out for: The newly restored railway stations.
Tips: Parts of the greenway are being upgraded so check for local updates.

Park name: Curraghchase Forest Park between Adare and Askeaton
Amenities: Exquisite woodland walks and plenty of archaeological treasures including a cairn, three ringforts and a standing stone in this Coillte-managed forest. Also walks along an artificial lake onto Lady's Island.
Special features: A great place for bird watching and keen birders will be pleased if they spot the rarely sighted hawfinch and more common brambling on a visit to this former demesne.
Access: Car parking on site. Google Map "Curraghchase Forest Park".
Dogs: dogs on leads
Tip: The on site caravan park means that it's a possible stop over on a tour of the area.

Name: Shannon Fields Outdoor Gym, Limerick
Exercises: Lat pull-down, chest press, cross trainer, rotator, shoulder flexor, leg press.
Location: Google Maps
On the banks of the River Shannon, this is a great spot, with walking trails and a workout on the exercise machines. Ask locals about a good spot to have a dip in the river to cool down (strong swimmers only).

Get Active Series
- 32 great walking routes in Ireland - one in each county
- 32 great hikes in Ireland
- 32 great running routes
- 32 great outdoor swim locations
- 32 great cycling routes
- 32 great parks
- 32 great outdoor gyms