Efforts are under way to recapture the glory days of Tyrone’s canals. The Strabane Canal restoration project is trying to resurrect a stretch of waterway which fell into terrible disrepair in the early 1900s before finally closing in 1962.
People can judge for themselves the scale of the challenge by undertaking the 3-kilometre Strabane Towpath walk. The best way to begin is by passing through Ballymagorry, on the main Derry-Strabane Road, and turning onto the Greenlaw Road. After about 1.5 kilometres you come to the towpath’s dedicated car park.
The walk is straightforward – a gentle stretch of the legs along a compacted gravel track, while enjoying the benefits of fresh air and relaxing surroundings. Go through the kissing gate at Devine’s Lock and head north along the canal bank as far as Crampsie’s Lock where spectacular views of the River Foyle and east Donegal unfold. Pass through another kissing gate and continue to the end of the earthen track where a bird hide is located. Do a u-turn at this point and return to the carpark the way you came, crossing to the other side by one of the foot bridges.
There’s ample free car parking at the start, and interpretive panels along the way.