After years in the making, the Waterford Greenway is set to officially open this weekend in County Waterford. At 46 kilometres (29 miles), it will become Ireland’s longest off-road cycling and walking track.
Fifty years to the day since the old Dungarvan to Waterford railway line saw its last passenger car, and the Waterford Greenway will have its official opening this Saturday, March 25th. Sections of the walking and cycling track joining the harbour town of Dungarvan to Ireland’s oldest city have been open to the public since in 2013, but from Saturday onwards, Waterford residents and visitors will be able to enjoy the 46-kilometre (29-mile) greenway in its entirety, as the final stretch into Waterford is made accessible.
Once opened, the Waterford Greenway will replace County Mayo’s 42-kilometre (26-mile) Great Western Greenway between Achill and Westport as the longest in Ireland. The ambitious €15 million project will become part of EuroVelo, the European cycle route network, as well as featuring as one of the highlights of the tourism area branded ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’.
Historic sites in the vicinity of the track include Dungarvan Castle, founded in 1185, the 18th-century Georgian estate at Mount Congreve and viaducts at Kilmacthomas, Ballyvoyle and Durrow. The route also takes in part of Waterford’s Copper Coast Geopark trail and provides scenic views of the blue flag beach at Clonea. Closer to Waterford, it cuts close to the foot of the Comeragh Mountains, where a short detour can be taken to visit the 80-metre (263-foot) Mahon Falls waterfall.
Of the launch, Waterford Mayor Cllr Adam Wyse stated: ‘The Waterford Greenway is steeped in history and natural heritage, and I’m delighted to see it now re-imagined into an amenity that will continue to give great enjoyment to the people of Waterford and visitors to this great county well into the future.’ The official opening will take place at the track’s half-way point, the old Kilmacthomas Station House, with celebratory events also planned for Waterford and Dungarvan.