BOAT
ACTIVITIES
My map had been folded and refolded so many times the creases had begun to tear. Across the center from Dublin to Galway, there was little that held the two halves together. I carefully pulled the fibers apart, separating the map in two and folding the lower half of Ireland into a plastic bag for safekeeping. It was symbolic of the halfway point in the trip.

Chris Duff
On Celtic Tides: One Man's Journey Around Ireland by Sea Kayak

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You're very welcome to the Island Ireland directory for Irish outdoor activities.
The following hand-picked links will take you to resources on Irish walking, hiking, boating, horseback riding, birdwatching, cycling and more...
IRISH WALKING AND HIKING
GORP (Great Outdoors Recreation Pages) provide useful information on Irish forest parks, nature reserves and national parks where you could have an exhilarating run up a mountain if you like, or perhaps something more along the lines of a leisurely stroll in the meadow or, better yet, an after-picnic nap...
Simon Stewart's Hillwalking in Ireland is an excellent resource: a mountain photo gallery, detailed descriptions of long walks, excellent links with commentary, a calendar of events and more.
The Northern Ireland Tourist Board site describes 'fourteen great walks' on the Ulster Way, one of Ireland's long-distance walking paths.
Tourists have been making the trek to beautiful Killarney National Park for centuries. The park's website provides a very good introduction to the plants and animals of this special place, and includes lots of photos.
Wally Trimble writes about a 1998 walking trip on the Dingle Way...
If you prefer to do your walking, or crawling as the case may be, under the ground, visit Caving Ireland (The Speleological Union of Ireland and the Irish Cave Rescue Organisation)
UP ON THE IRISH MOUNTAINS
Wahoo! The Irish Mountain Running Association has an energetic web site that's going to tell you everything you want to know. I feel more fit just reading about their activities... a really well-done site.
The Mountaineering Council of Ireland maintains an excellent page of information, commentary, news and links for the hill-walking and mountain-climbing communities. Highly recommended.
Kerry Mountain Rescue Team
IRISH CYCLING
Peter Purfield's Irish Cycling is for serious bicycle racers and fans... a great site with lots of news, tips, and upcoming events.
Seamus Shortall maintains another good site: Irish Cycle Racing. Lots of news and links, and articles on touring Ireland by bicycle and the history of Irish cycling...
IN AND ON THE WATER
The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland provides all sorts of information and news for boaters, fishermen, naturalists and hikers. Lots of good photos of locks and bridges, everything you ever wanted to know about the Royal Canal, links to all manner of things watery, and lots more... an interesting site.
Scuba Dive Ireland maintains a site with information on Irish diving centres and clubs, a guide to the best diving locations around the country, and a very good links page too.
The Irish Sea Kayaking Association provides lots of useful info for Irish paddlers, including an interesting newsletter you can read online.
Surfing Ireland... general information and links, a message board, buy and sell, useful info for visitors...
The Shannon Regional Fisheries Board provides a Complete Angling Guide to the Shannon Region. Info on coarse, sea and game fishing for salmon, trout, pike... looks like everything you'd want to know before jumping into your waders...
The Irish Fisheries site gives details on fishing all over Ireland, lake by lake and river by river.
IRISH BIRDWATCHING
Birdwatch Ireland maintains an excellent educational website that includes information on the Cape Clear Bird Observatory, special ongoing projects and activities around the country, news on rare sightings, an excellent links page, a bookshop and more. Lots of information for school teachers and students is included in this comprehensive resource.
The GORP site provides a good general introduction and list of birdwatching locations.
IrishBirding.com provides a lot of information on their website: feature articles, bird photographs, garden birding, conservation and rare bird news, and a good links page. On the commercial side they offer Irish bird tours, bird counts, and publishing and design services on projects relating to birds and wildlife.
Birdwatching sites are also listed at the following pages: Birdwatching in Northern Ireland, and Birdwatching on the Dingle Peninsula.
IRISH EQUESTRIAN SITES
Horse Ireland covers news and upcoming events, equestrian centres, horse and pony sales, show jumping and dressage, and also maintains contact details on all horse-related organisations in Ireland.
IN THE IRISH SKIES
Ireland sure looks like the 'emerald isle' from the air... if you prefer the view without the plane and flight attendants, you'll find lots of useful info and photographs at these interesting sites:
Irish Parachute Club (skydiving)
Ulster Hang Gliding & Paragliding Club
Irish Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association
IRISH ASTRONOMY
'An as it blowed an' blowed I often looked up at the sky an 'assed meself the question, what is the stars, what is the stars?' ... If you find yourself in a similar state, a visit to Astronomy Ireland is definitely in order. An active group and a nicely done site.
The Armagh Planetarium site provides lots of information on observatory exhibits, public telescopes, star shows and more.
LET'S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE
The Centre Standards Board of the Irish Association for Adventure Sports monitors safety guidelines regarding qualifications, instructor to participant ratios, equipment requirements, and activity locations. They provide contact details for approved adventure centres and providers all over Ireland (mountaineering, archery, diving, caving, canoeing, orienteering, etc.).
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