The Suck Valley Way
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Roscommon Integrated Development Company, Curraghboy, Athlone, Roscommon, Republic of Ireland
The River Suck drains Lough O’Flynn, 7km west of the town of Castlerea, County Roscommon, and flows through sweeping meanders and past many little islands to reach the Shannon, a kilometre below Shannonbridge.
The Suck Valley Way is a circular route that runs up the west side of the Suck from Mount Talbot to the outskirts of the town of Castlerea and returns, with one brief interruption, down the east side, taking in ‘The Nine Friendly Villages’, Ballygar, Creggs, Glinsk, Ballymoe, Ballintubber, Dunamon, Castlecoote, Athleague and Mount Talbot.
The landscape is a typical river valley - one of bogs, callows, woods and unspoilt traditional farmland of many tiny fields, and makes for wonderful and varied low-land walking.
The terrain consists of a pleasant mix of cross-country paths through fields and woods, quiet side roads and there are a number of stretches along the banks of the river itself. As is common with countryside that has not been agriculturally over-developed, there is a rich heritage of the remains of monuments and buildings of the past to be enjoyed along the route, including ringforts, castles, ancient churches; you can’t miss the unique La Tène Stone, an ovoid boulder of granite richly carved and dating from the Iron Age, close to the route at Castlestrange.
To add to the pleasure of this route, the frequent villages provide plenty of opportunities for relaxing along the way. The route can be subject to flooding, so please check locally.