Plan for 60km water trails in Cork

A new report has proposed an ambitious new tourist attraction for Cork that would open up its harbour to over 60km of recreational water trails for kayaking, canoeing, and other small vessels.

Plan for 60km water trails in Cork

The Cork Harbour Blueway Feasibility Report, commissioned by South and East Cork Area Development (Secad), examined the feasibility of developing a recreational water activity trail in the greater Cork Harbour area. The report identified major potential trail areas, or Blueways: Cork City Blueway, Lough Mahon Blueway, West Passage Blueway, East Harbour Blueway, and the South Harbour Blueway.

An Spideil team taking part in the Ocean to City, An Rás Mór which is part of Cork Harbour Festival. 

The report was officially launched on Saturday by Marine Minister Simon Coveney.

“This is a really exciting opportunity for the greater Cork Harbour area; the development of a Blueway is something that has been done very successfully in other counties and I believe that Cork would benefit hugely from this development,” he said.

The proposed trail network is 61km in length and is broken into 16 separate trail sections.

Dragon Boat Ublox Crew pictured taking part in Ocean to City, An Rás Mór

Secad chief executive Ryan Howard said the report evolved from the group’s support of the identification and development of walking and cycling trails.

“In 2013 we formed a Water Trail Development Group made up of experts in water sports and trail development in order to assess the feasibility of developing water trails,” he said.

“The proposed trail network outlined are suitable for anyone on small craft vessels. In theory even open water swimmers and snorkelers could potentially use the trails, however this will require further engagement with relevant stakeholders.”

Meanwhile, more than 500 boats took to the sea over the weekend in Cork for the annual 28km Ocean to City, An Rás Mór.

Some 170 of the 538 participants travelled from overseas for the race from Crosshaven to Lapps Quay.

Cork Boat Club: John Duggan, Ciaran O’Sullivan, Brian Creen, and Pat Peilow in the Ocean to City, An Rás Mór

The festival week continues with free harbour tours, open days at Spike Island and Fort Camden, a river trail, a harbour cruise, as well as a seafood market.

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