Great Southern Trail

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The Great Southern Trail is a 'greenway' rail trail under development in Counties Limerick and Kerry, intended to be 53 miles long when completed and run from Limerick to Tralee.[1]

The route is an off-road trail intended for use by cyclists and walkers along the route of the Great Southern and Western Railway Limerick to Tralee line which opened between 1867 and 1880 and was closed in 1977.[1]

At present some 22 miles of the route between Rathkeale and Abbeyfeale have been developed. The developed section of the trail passes through Ardagh, Newcastle West and Barnagh.


A voluntary group, Great Southern Trail Ltd, has developed the trail for 20 years, at an estimated cost to date of €1 million.[2][3]

Development of the trail has run into some difficulties, particularly in keeping the land, which is publicly owned (by Córas Iompair Éireann, the Irish transport authority) and keeping it away from some local landowners and neighbouring houses who fear crime and lack of use for it .[4]

In early 2013, a group of walkers commemorating the 50th anniversary of the last passenger train between Limerick and Tralee, were blocked at the Kerry border by a group of local landowners opposing the continued development of this trail into County Kerry.[5] It has since been established that CIE owns the line and that the landowners have no claim to the trail.[6] CIE is currently in the process of transferring ownership of the line to Kerry County Council for further development of the trail towards Listowel, pending future funding becoming available.

Outside links


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Home". Retrieved 1 August 2011. 
  2. Frank McDonald (journalist) (18 August 2011). "Minister urged to act over CIÉ land row". The Irish Times (Dublin). Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  3. Reidy, Marisa (14 September 2011). "Leaving a trail of honours at awards in France". The Kerryman. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  4. Prendiville, Norma (17 September 2011). "Great Southern Trail Wins Special Jury Prize in European Greenways Association Award Scheme". Limerick Leader. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  5. 'Walkers blocked from entering Kerry on old rail line': Radio Kerry 96-98FM
  6. 'CIE says it owns north Kerry rail line': Radio Kerry
Long-distance footpaths in the Republic of Ireland

National Waymarked Trails:   Ballyhoura WayBarrow WayBealach na Gaeltachta, Dún na nGallBeara WayBlackwater WayBluestack WayBurren WayCavan WayCroagh Patrick Heritage TrailDingle WayDublin Mountains WayEast Clare WayEast Munster WayGrand Canal WayHymany WayKerry WayLough Derg WayMid Clare WayMiners Way and Historical TrailMonaghan WayMulteen WayNore Valley WayNorth Kerry WayOffaly WayRoyal Canal WaySheep's Head WaySlieve Bloom WaySlieve Felim WaySligo WaySouth Leinster WaySuck Valley WayTáin WayTipperary Heritage WayWestern WayWestmeath WayWicklow Way

Greenways:   Boyne GreenwayDublin-Galway GreenwayGreat Southern TrailGreat Western Greenway

Others:   Bangor TrailMalin to Mizen