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 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. The Naas Canal Festival takes place at the end of October every year.