The canal is also a popular fishing location so you might be lucky enough to see a fish being caught or at least you might see a fish jump as we did – an actual pike raised its head. In the distance you get a fine view of the Iron Mountain (Sliabh an Iarainn), the legendary home of Tuatha De Danann. They were reputedly a race of small dark people who fled into the more inaccessible regions of the country. It is supposedly from these battle shy little people that the myth of fairies and leprechauns emanated.
When you reach Drumleague Lock have a look at this old style lock that was built in the early part of the nineteenth century as part of the Lough Allen Canal that was built to bring coal from the Arigna mines to Dublin via the Royal Canal. That trade did not thrive and, by the time of the Ardnacrusha scheme in the 1920's, there was very little traffic on the canal. However the lock is regularly used by cruiser traffic nowadays to get to Acres Lake and Lough Allen. There is lots of information about the lock and the surrounding area on notice boards at the lock and you can sit for a while at the picnic benches to enjoy a snack or picnic. Who knows but you might just be lucky to get to see a boat go through the lock, meet the lock keeper and have a chat with the skipper.
Visit the Shannon Blueway on the 2nd and 3rd of May and join in the fun at the Shannon Blueway Adventure Festival.
Cycle the Shannon Blueway.