Updated: Jun 4, 2020
From the great Southern Greenway to Ballyhoura, Limerick has some great family cycles to enjoy!
At Spin Doctor Cycles we are ideally situated in Abbeyfeale County Limerick, right off the N21, with great links to cycling locations across West Limerick and further afield to Kerry. I have been cycling across Ireland for years with my own family and these are my top recommendations and in my opinion the best family cycles in West Limerick and beyond.
1. The Great Southern Greenway
Right on our doorstep, the Great Southern Greenway has been a fantastic development for West Limerick. This off road cycle or walking route is based along the old Great Southern railway line and currently connects Rathkeale, Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale with plans to further develop the route from Abbeyfeale through Listowel, Lixnaw and on to Tralee in County Kerry. Trying to do the entire route would be a challenge for any family but you can jump on and off the track at various locations. From Abbeyfeale there’s a nice 4km route as far as Newcastle West or you could do part of that. People usually park at the Railway Bar just outside Abbeyfeale town (call for directions and a bike tune up before you go!).
2. Curragh Chase Forrest Park
Located on the N69 between Clarina and Askeaton, Curragh Chase is a great spot for cycling, walking and fantastic family picnics! Here you will find 300 hectares of rolling parkland and lovely lakes. There are two cycling trails, the Curragh Trail being the easier option for families at about 2.5 KM of easy cycling. The Glenisca Trail is a bit more challenging and takes visitors out into the wider forest area passing by an old cave. Stonehall visitor farm is just around the corner from Curragh Chase and is another firm family favourite while you are in the area!
3. Ballyhoura Mountain Trails
The 98KM of mountain trails at Ballyhoura are the largest mountain trail system of its kind in Ireland. Many of the trails would be very challenging for young children but the 6KM Greenwood loop would be an option for the more adventurous and experienced young cyclists. Watch out for narrow surfaces with loose rocks, gravel and vegetation throughout.
4. Killarney National Park
Killarney National Park near the town of Killarney was one of the first national park in Ireland. All in all it is a massive 10, 263 hectare parkland and there are lots of cycling routes. The best starting point is the visitor centre at Mucross House to get some information on the various trails you can take.
5. The Demesne, Newcastle West
Tucked away behind the town square of Newcastle West in County Limerick you can find the Demesne, 100 acres of parkland with forest and park trails. There’s also a great playground for when the kids need a break from cycling!