Grand Canal Way
The Grand Canal runs from Dublin port on a westerly course via Tullamore to join the River Shannon near Banagher. Construction on the canal began in 1756, in all there are forty-four locks on the main line. Several aqueducts were needed to cross the rivers along the route and a total of seventy-nine bridges were built. The canal itself thrived for about fifty years and goods traffic struggled to continue for many years after the arrival of the railway. Walkers can now use the towpath along the 114 km of the canal, a route sheltering a wealth of flora and fauna and allowing inspections of eighteenth and nineteenth century engineering works, some of which are still in use. All stretches give easy, level walking. The Offaly section, involving over 64 km of canal and crossing large tracts of bogland, enters the county near Edenderry and extends westwards through the towns and villages of Daingean, Tullamore, Rahan, Pollagh and Belmont to join the Shannon at Shannon Harbour.
For further information see http://www.irishtrails.ie/trail/Grand-Canal-Way/18/