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Royal Canal Greenway Surface quality

  • 17-04-2023 1:12pm
    Registered Users Posts: 132 ✭✭

    Hi team,

    My partner and I are I've from NZ visiting and we are supposed to be going on the royal canal Greenway from Maynooth to Mullingar in the next day or 2... I have gravel bikes on 28c tyres will they be ok? Searching through threads here it subs like the Greenway is mostly still soft grassy towpaths? I assumed to be called a green way it would be compact gravel like the Waterford ...

    Just wondering if I should be panic renting something more suitable.



  • Registered Users Posts: 78 ✭✭lazycyclist

    Between Maynooth and Mullingar it's fine crushed gravel or tarmac, so you'll be fine on 28c. There's no grass sections between those two towns. Enjoy!

  • Registered Users Posts: 132 ✭✭pedro7

    Ah Excellent, thanks. What about the sections after Mullingar do you know? If the weather holds we'd like to go to the end of we can.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,111 ✭✭✭nilhg

    After Mullingar you have two choices, you can continue on the canal towpath which is similar to the Maynooth-Mullingar section or you can take the old rail trail to Athlone which is mostly or entirely tarmac surface

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,272 ✭✭✭Mercian Pro

    Staying on the canal greenway beyond Mullingar is highly recommended both in terms of scenery and facilities. The old rail trail is very dull in comparison.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,333 ✭✭✭beggars_bush

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  • Registered Users Posts: 132 ✭✭pedro7

    Just thought I'd update this now that I've finished it. From Maynooth all the way to Cloondara.

    Around the main towns there's generally tarmac. About 80% of the entire trail is compact fine gravel - very comfortable on my 28c road tires.

    There was a small section in Meath before Longwood that was rougher tarmac/gravel but again very doable on the road bike. And as you go through Longford there was a few rougher patches but nothing unmanageable.

    The Greenway, is actually a public road for alot of it. But don't worry we passed about 5 vehicles the whole trip. Just pull in and let them go.

    The hardest part for me was from Darcy's to Ballasport? bridges around the Hyde Park area. If you take the wrong side of the canal, after a few kms, it becomes unpassable. Fortunately there's good phone signal and a way out onto a nice quiet road to get back to the track so no big deal. (At least heading towards Maynooth. If you made the mistake the other direction you'd have to turn around.)

    We did the trail across 2 days Tuesday and Wednesday, in mid April. There are almost no toilets anywhere on the trail once your out of Westmeath. Most of the little shops and coffee places are closed mid-week. So you might have to detour and head of canal in search of petrol stations and pubs.

    Highly recommend the rustic inn in Abbeyshrule and Fureys in Moyvalley for lunch stops. Great points too 😀.

    Thoroughly enjoyed the trail.

    Post edited by pedro7 on

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,421 ✭✭✭Gerry

    Nice work. Yep as you go west of enfield you are onto much older sections and they are much rougher.

    I haven't joined it all up yet but I found the sections around ballymahon really scenic and relaxing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,333 ✭✭✭beggars_bush

    probably because that is the part of the canal with most bends on it and you cannot see very far along stretches

    plus tow paths have been upgraded due to extra cycle traffic due to center parcs being nearby