Connemara Greenway in October


When the business is closed for the winter we occasionally get nice dry sunny days at the weekend – (I know that’s a lot of planets lining up for the West of Ireland) and when this happens you must make the most of it! So on the 18th October the day promised to be sunny and fine so we put the bikes on the back of the car and headed to Ballinafad near Recess and cycled along the partly constructed greenway on the old Clifden railway. It’s a huge shame this does not run all the way from Galway to Clifden as the railway did – it would eclipse the Wild Atlantic Way around here in terms of a beautiful safe cycle away from all the lorries, trucks vans and cars. We stopped on the ‘old red bridge’ at Ballynahinch which used to be unsafe but is now restored and part of the Greenway. from here the Greenway heads towards Clifden for a mile or two and then abruptly ends at a gate! The railway route continues but it would appear this part of the negotiation is not, as yet, complete. It is understandable that some people have concerns about allowing walkers and cyclists to traverse these lands but the overall benefit to people’s health, the advantage of safe exercise and potential financial return to Connemara as a whole also needs to be considered. We do cycle on the famous N59 Clifden to Galway road on occasions but it can be more than a little scary! As part of our cycle we joined the old bog road from Toombeola to outside Clifden a road where, as a kid, I used fish small trout in the Clifden Angler’s lakes with my family. On the entire cycle on this magic road we met one other bike and one car at the far end, it was nothing short of paradise. We stopped off in Clifden for a well deserved hot chocolate before returning along the main N59 road. There is nowhere so beautiful as Connemara on a fine sunny day.