Paddlers, regardless of ability, will find endless opportunities to enjoy their sport in Foyle and Carlingford, whether sea kayaking, flat water canoeing or tackling white water in the smaller rivers.
The Foyle Canoe Trail stretches more than 53 kilometres from rural Tyrone, past Derry city to the seaside town of Moville on Donegal’s Inishowen coast.
Eight access points and scenic camping opportunities make it easy to explore and enjoy the surroundings. The Foyle is tidal up to Culmore Point, offering enthusiasts a chance to paddle upstream and experience a variety of water conditions.
At Culmore, where the river spills into the Lough, the Foyle Trail overlaps with the East Inishowen Sea Kayak Trail which continues as far as Malin Head, Ireland’s most northerly point. The coastal environment allows for wonderful sea and surf kayaking or a leisurely tour around Inishowen’s inlets. From Moville, seasoned canoeists can cross to the North Coast Sea Kayak Trail which begins at Magilligan Point and go kayak surfing at Benone.
The South East Canoe Trail stretches 90 kilometres and provides mostly straightforward kayaking on Carlingford Lough up to Narrow Water Castle and on Newry Canal. Tidal waters rushing through the Lough mouth, with races, overfalls and rough sea, make an adventure suitable for only the most experienced canoeists.
Loughs Agency has developed three canoe trails: the East Inishowen Sea Kayak Trail and, working with Outdoor Recreation NI, the Foyle Canoe Trail and the South East Canoe Trail. All paddlers should consider tide, wind and sea conditions when planning outings and newcomers should be guided by local activity providers.
Download trail guides here: