IWAI Kildare, a branch of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland, is the voice of waterways users in Kildare. Enjoying the present while encompassing the past, IWAI Kildare encourage boating tourism and recreational pursuits on the 120 kilometres of Canal located in the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East.
For the sports, leisure and health enthusiast, there is boating, canoeing, cruising in company, cycling, fishing, kayaking, touring and walking, along the Grand Canal, the Naas and Corbally Canals, the Milford Feeder, the Barrow Line and the Royal Canal. Our residential boaters are mainly in Lowtown and Sallins, where their brightly painted barges add to the ambience of the area.
Kildare – the Canal County – is accessible from all parts of Ireland whether arriving by boat, car or train. Dublin is 30 minutes away from Sallins by train. Visitors to Kildare might pause to observe the workings of a Lock as a boat passes through, take an afternoon, day or weeks on a Hire Barge or chose to stay on a Flotel, or view the canal from one of the waterside eateries in Naas and Sallins. 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, Robertstown Lowtown and Sallins were transportation centres as far back as 220 years ago; today they retain their boating heritage. IWAI Kildare 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 support the aims of Nav-Watch. Navigating the Barrow, Grand and Royal gives boaters a unique perspective on problems affecting banks, structures and the navigation, not obvious when viewed from the paths along the canal corridor. Registering issues on Nav-Watch will help Waterways Ireland in planning the management and maintenance of the navigation. We actively support the Nav-Watch initiative and we encourage all IWAI members and users of the canal corridors, to log navigation issues.