Some of County Westmeath’s best places to walk and cycle will feature on a Westmeath episode of RTÉ’s popular Tracks and Trails programme.
The show is now in its ninth series, returning to RTÉ this year after a two-year break. The Westmeath episode is the third in the latest series and will air on RTÉ 1 tomorrow night, Friday, June 11, at 7.30pm.
The show aims to showcase the range of beautiful hikes, walks and cycles on newly developed and lesser travelled routes on the island of Ireland. This year, there is also an emphasis on the health and well-being benefits associated with getting outside and spending time in nature.
Filming in Westmeath took place in April, sponsored and facilitated by Westmeath County Council.
During the half-hour programme, presenter Bláthnaid Treacy will be shown hiring a bike on the Royal Canal Greenway in Mullingar. From there she’ll join the Old Rail Trail and cycle westwards towards Athlone, enjoying the various stations, bridges and tunnels along the way, with a stop at Dún na Sí Amenity and Heritage Park.
Local GAA personality Dessie Dolan will guide Bláthnaid from Streamstown to Moate on the greenway. She’ll then enjoy tours of the Hill of Uisneach and Belvedere House, Gardens and Park, learning interesting stories from local tour guides Justin Moffatt and Mary Bannon.
The programme also features a peaceful walk at Mullaghmeen Forest in North Westmeath, where Bláthnaid will meet with Mullingar musician and mental health advocate Niall Breslin.
The opportunity to spotlight Westmeath’s lakes was also taken, through the inclusion of an interview with local photographer James Crombie at Lough Ennell, where his famous starling murmuration photo was captured earlier this year.
Information on the various walks and greenways around Westmeath can be found at www.visitwestmeath.ie/get-outdoors