Kildare IWAI (the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland) is the voice of waterways users in Kildare. Enjoying the present while encompassing the past, there is something for everyone to enjoy on the picturesque waterways located in the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East.
For the sporting and recreational enthusiast there is boating, canoeing, cruising in company, cycling, fishing, hiking, kayaking, touring and walking, along the Grand Canal, the Naas and Corbally Branch, the Milford Feeder, the Barrow Line and the Royal Canal.
Kildare Waterways are accessible from all parts of Ireland whether arriving by boat, car or train. Dublin is 30 minutes away from Sallins by train. Visitors might view the canal from one of the many waterside eateries, pause to observe the workings of a Lock as a boat passes through, take an afternoon, day or a longer trip on a Barge or chose to stay on a Flotel. For the nature lover, Pollardstown Fen, the largest remaining calcareous spring-fed fen left in Ireland and home to rare vegetation types and invertebrates can be reached by small boat along the Milford feeder.
Lovers of ancient forms of transport will find much to explore. There are locks, old mills and transhipment buildings, viaducts and vintage boats on the canals. The old canal towns and villages of Athy, Kilcock, Lyons village, Naas and Robertstown were transportation centres as far back as 220 years ago; today they retain their boating heritage. Kildare IWAI organise boating events along the canal where boaters, locals and visitors have the opportunity to meet up.
With our colleagues in the Barrow, Dublin, North Barrow, Offaly and Royal branches, we participate in the Nav-Watch project. Navigating the Grand and Royal Canals and the River Barrow gives boaters a unique perspective of problems affecting banks, structures and the navigation, not obvious when viewed from the paths along the canal corridor.
Registering these issues on Nav-Watch will help us in our discussions with Waterways Ireland and assist them in undertaking the care, management and maintenance of the canals and canal property as a public amenity. We actively support the Nav-Watch initiative and encourage all IWAI members to log navigation issues encountered on their travels.