Great Southern Trail
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Secretary, Great Southern Trail, Gortbui, Newcastle West, Limerick,
The Great Southern Trail (GST) is a unique 85km stretch of countryside in West Limerick/North Kerry.
Ireland's rolling green landscape, much of it untouched by development, makes it an ideal location for Walking, Cycling or Hiking for the enthusiast and casual walkers, cyclers' or hikers alike.
Numerous signed walking, cycling or hiking routes of note have been developed over the last decade for the specialists in self-guided walking, cycling holidays (hiking tours) in Ireland.
Directions to TrailHead
RATHKEALE - ARDAGH 9km
Begin at the Old Station now the Palatine Museum. Cross the River Deel, continue north of the N21 via a riverside underpass. Five cut-stone overhead bridges are encountered on the trail to Ardagh. The fifth bridge is at Ardagh Station where the Ardagh Chalice was found in 1868.
ARDAGH - NEWCASTLE WEST 4km
This section, level at each end with a 'dip' in the middle and a 1% gradient, passes through pleasant pastoral farmland. Approaching Newcastle West the River Daar is bridged. Cross the R521 and enter Newcastle West Station. The restored Station House is private and mature oak trees line the approach avenue.
NEWCASTLE WEST - BARNAGH 10km
For steam trains this was mostly uphill, gradients never exceed 2% and is downhill from Barnagh to Abbeyfeale. Trains entered Barnagh Station through a tunnel, which can be visited along a 'stand-alone' 1km section of the old railway. Access is via a the lay-by at Barnagh on the N21 (Westbound)
BARNAGH - TEMPLEGLANTINE 4km
From Barnagh Station the tunnel and railway house are at the far side of the N21. The route passes under two stone bridges. Templeglantine becomes visible on the left and is reached along the L21006, a good starting point for a side trip to Glenquin Castle, restored, 6Km S.E.
TEMPLEGLANTINE - ABBEYFEALE 10km/13km
The L21006 leads to the trail for Abbeyfeale. After 2km enter Tullig Wood and soon pass the restored station at Devon Road. The trail levels as it comes parallel to the River Allaghaun. One stone bridge spans the trail, after 2km Abbeyfeale Station is reached. Turn left onto the R524 for the town centre. A 3km extension to the GST continues on from Abbeyfeale to the Co Kerry border.