Great Southern Greenway.

Part of the “Atlantic Coast” European Greenway Network.

Great Southern Greenway.

The Great Southern Greenway is a Greenway / Rail Trail under continuous development in Counties Limerick and Kerry, and which passes through the outskirts of the town of Abbeyfeale. Currently 35 kilometres (22 miles) in length taking in the ruins of Purt Castle and old Railway Stations at Abbeyfeale, Devon Road, Barna, Newcastle West, Ardagh and Rathkeale – all of which are within County Limerick, it is eventually intended to be 85 kilometres (53 miles) in length when fully development and extended into County Kerry.

The Great Southern Greenway is now part of the Route #1 “Atlantic Coast” European Greenway Network system which runs from Scandinavia to the Algarve in Portugal. It is designed as an off-road trail intended for use by cyclists and walkers which follows the route of the original Great Southern and Western Railway Line from Limerick to Tralee which opened between 1867 - 1880 and was eventually closed in 1977.

The voluntary group Great Southern Trail Ltd had developed the trail for over 20 years, at an estimated cost of €1 million. They were awarded a special jury prize by the European Greenways Association at the 2011 European Greenways Awards in recognition of their efforts to develop the greenway between 1991 and 2011. Development of the Greenway / Trail has now been taken over by both Limerick City & County Council and Kerry County Council.