Mullingar to Athlone Greenway

Athlone greenway

Greenway at a glance

Waymarking – Green Arrows

Distance

42 km

Difficulty

Easy - Moderate

Ascent

22m

Terrain

Greenway Custom designed trail

Duration

Allow 3-7 hrs cycling

Minimum Gear

A good bike

Services

Athlone, Mullingar, and numerous villages

Old Rail Trail Greenway: Athlone to Mullingar

The Old Rail Trail begins from Athlone and goes to Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. It is a 42 Km trail for cyclists and bikers. On your trip through the very heart of Ireland on this delightful trail, you will alive with wildlife.  It traces the historic Midlands Great Western Railway track past restored station houses and under pretty stone arched bridges.  From the River Shannon in Athlone to the Royal Canal in Mullingar, it passes through scenic areas of unique biodiversity attractions and heritage. The most enchanting and peaceful journey is one of the best trail walks of the world cyclists and walking routes.

plan your greenway cycle

About Old Rail Trail Athlone

(County Westmeath)

The route is 40km along a converted stretch of the former Midlands Great Western Railway and passes through rich fertile farmland away from the hustle of Ireland town. In the middle of the 19th century, the Midland Great Western Railway (MGWR) was Ireland’s third-largest railway company. The company has an 866 km rail network across the Midlands. The MGWR lines linked Dublin to Galway and Sligo. The railroad brought prosperity to the Galway and Dublin town along the route, especially the two larger towns, Athlone and Mullingar. The railway line between the Mullingar and Athlone closed due to the development of the road network. It was closed by Córas Iompair Éireann (CIE) in 1987. As part of the work on the Old Rail Trail, Westmeath County Council carried out road works conservation on protected structures at Moate and Castletown Stations.

Old Rail Trail Map​

There are many spots to explore and see on the Old Rail Trail for cyclists. To make sure you see all the highlights of the trail and route, also are sure to travel with the sign map of the route. Having a map will allow you to see all the highlights of the lush enchanting greenway.

Three Things You Need To Know

Old Rail Trail Sections

The Old Rail Trail has conveniently divided into three sections.


The full route of the Rail Trail has been designed with mobility in mind and is safe and suitable for everyone walking and cycling. You can start the entire route at Athlone town and reach Mullingar through various bustling town and rich farmland along the trail.

  • Stage 1: Athlone Town to Moate (14.5 km)
  • Stage 2: Moate to Castletown (16.5 km)
  • Stage 3: Castletown to Mullingar (11.4 km)

How Long will it take me to Cycle?

The route distance of Athlone to Mullingar is 42km. The average cyclist can cover this path in approximately 6 hours. But there are so many local attractions to stay and enjoy. We suggest you stay in the hotel and cover the trail in the section to fully enjoy the great attraction along the way. Athlone has many remarkable accommodations options. Sheraton Hotel, Raddison Blue, Hodson Bay, and Athlone Springs are notable premium quality 4-star hotels. It also has a market town for great shopping experiences.

Old Rail Trail Access Points (from Athlone to Mullingar)

  • Whitegates, Athone
  • Garrycastle Bridge, Athone
  • Tully (Free Parking)
  • Magheramore
  • Dún na Sí Amenity & Heritage Park
  • Moate Station
  • Rosemount Access
  • Lisnagree
  • Streamstown
  • Castletown Station (Free Parking)
  • Dysart
  • Ballinea
  • Belmount
  • Kilpatrick
  • Newbrook (links to Royal Canal Blue Way), Mullingar
  • Newbrook Roundabout, Mullingar (Free Parking)

Old Rail Trail Route

There are different sections on the Old Rail Trail Athlone Greenway. All sections are marked with the Greenway symbol and a white directional scroll arrow and are suitable for people with a moderate level of fitness. The route is easy and perfect for beginners as the entire trail is paved and sign posted. The trail is flat and gentle slopes, and easy to cycle. It is perfect for people or family groups to walk, cycle and hiking.

Stage One. Athlone Town to Moate (14.5 km)

The 14.5 km from the Athlone to Moate is mostly a flat surface. The track is suitable for family groups of all ages and all types of bikes. Access onto the trail from Athlone Whitegates, at the junction of Ballymahon Road and Beechpark . After leaving the bustling city area of Athlone, the trail takes you from the lush green landscapes and natural heritage area. Moving with the breathtaking natural peaceful land, you reach the restored buildings of Moate Station. The highlight spot on the track is Dún na Sí Park. It is a natural heritage where history and nature meet. You can relax at the lovely Moate location. The hidden gem of the Moate city offers the visitors refreshments, accommodations, and the Tuar Ard Center for the Arts.

Stage Two. Moate to Castletown (16.5 km)

The 16.3 km trail between Moate and Castletown is a flat surface with gentle slopes. It is suitable for family groups of all ages and all types of bikes. When you travel through the breathtaking and lovely scenery on the way to the preserved historic building of Castletown, you pass under the iconic Three Arch Bridge in Streamstown. It Opened in 1851. The local people are using it for the past 100 years. A short trip from Castletown station will allow you to savor the majesty of Uisneach, it was the seat of the High Kings of Ireland and the burying place of the Earth Goddess Eriu and the Sun God Lugh. Options for rest, refreshment, photos location, and play are available in Moate, Castletown, and Ballinea en route. 

Stage Three. Castletown to Mullingar (11.4 km)

The 11.4 km route of Castletown to Mullingar is Mostly flat with gentle slopes. When you move forward from Castletown, your trail journey will go through the old railway line. The greenway area is surrounded by a bunch of trees and singing birds. The old rail trail greenway meets with the Royal canal greenway by passing under a tunnel. From here on the trail, it is a stroll into Mullingar. The tourist can walk on this trail to go to the River Shannon in Longford or Dublin City.

Old Rail Trail Highlights

Athlone Castle

The magnificent Athlone Castle located in Athlone is a worth visiting historic place. The ancient building of the castle takes you back to the history of swords. The visitor center of the castle has a number of historic items such as swords, cannonballs, stunning sculptures, and many more to recall the time of pride. The castle stairs take you to the amazingly wonderful view of river Shannon Banks from the peak. The highest battlements point on the rooftop of the castle gives gorgeous and eye-captivating views of the entire town. It is a must to visit the place on the way to the Old Rail Trail.

Dún na Sí Amenity & Heritage Park

The Dún na Sí Amenity & Park located in Moate is a fantastic spot for the family groups. The lush green gardens and outdoor art displays give a pleasing environment to relax and enjoy nature. The local café with the outdoor seating towards park facing and play areas provide the ultimate amusement for both children and elders. You can have a cup of coffee with a cake slice while parenting you’re playing child. You can enjoy your walk and do cycling on these trails by a water nature reserve and planted parkland. It is the best trail to enjoy traditional Irish music and dance. 

Streamstown Bridges

Feel eclipsed by the majesty of Streamstown’s iconic stone arch bridges and absorb the heritage railway era as you pedal! The Old Rail Trail is cross by a few of the exceptional instances of masonry stone arch bridges along the way.

Royal Canal Greenway

The Old Rail Trail joins the Royal Canal Greenway at Ballinea and Newbrook, Ireland. From there head to Mullingar to rest, have a snack, enjoy the culture and have fun. The Blueway Activity Zone at Mullingar Harbor is a famous spot offering multiple activities to explore the Royal Canal. The activities are kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.

Old Rail Trail Bike Hire

Ireland

best Places to Eat in County Waterford

Westmeath County Council

Westmeath County Council is a county authority. It is responsible for local government in County Westmeath, Ireland. The Local Government rules the county under the Act 2001. The Westmeath County council is responsible for housing and community, roads and transportation, urban planning and development, amenity and culture, and environment

frequently asked questions

FAQ's

Where can I rent a bike to do the Old Rail Trail?

There is a number of bike rentals services along the Old Rail Trail. You can visit the Bikes hire and Tour sections.

I haven’t cycled a bike in years, can I still do the trail?

Yes, It is mostly a flat trail and convenient to cycle. Everyone one fit and healthy can enjoy the trail.

Should I use an electric bike?

Electric bikes are 30% extra powerful so will certainly make the journey faster and more comfortable.

useful amenities

Water Stations

visitors to some of the most popular sections of the Greenway will be able to refill their water bottles at a number of specially designed water bottle refill stations. These are ideally suited to cyclists who have greater difficulty in accessing suitable drinking water points on their journey.

Water bottle refill stations on the Waterford Greenway are located along the Greenway at Abbeyside, Ballylynch Cross, Kilmacthomas Station and Bilberry. These enable Greenway users to refill their water bottles as they enjoy the Waterford Greenway.

Playgrounds near the greenway

 the Greenway is a wonderful facility and its important to keep children’s interest with activity and fun along the way. So grab a ball, go exploring and have some fun!

A playground is a really important aspect of a local network, and we’re very lucky to have some great playgrounds nearby on the Waterford Greenway.

There are two well constructed playgrounds that are easily accessible from the Waterford Greenway should you want to make a day out of it. Both Kilmacthomas and Abbeyside, Walton Park have play areas for kids of all ages, picnic tables, car-parks, shelters, electric barbecue facilities and toilets. Best of all there are no entrance fees !

There is also a playground at the Waterford City Park but it’s located on the south-side and takes longer to reach than either of the above.

Using The Greenway as a link between playgrounds can allow children to complete their original plans, but also try something new after all that energy has been used up.