Canoe Access update March 09

Coastal Canoe Trails – including Portmoon Bothy

Through consultation with CANI and some of the country’s top sea kayaking experts, the 3 sections of coastline identified for development as coastal canoe trails are:

North Coast Canoe Trail: Magilligan to Cushendall
East Coast Canoe Trail: Carnfunnock to Donaghadee
South East Coast Canoe Trail: Strangford to Warrenpoint

CAAN is currently in the process of securing a funding package for these trails and for the restoration of Salmon Cottage at Portmoon. The project will include 3 new waterproof trail guides, 3 interactive online maps, 1 bothy with interpretive materials, and an official launch event. It is hoped that the trails will also receive directional road signage as part of the Canoe Signage Strategy for NI (a separate project).

The project will be driven forward by a 3 local steering groups consisting of:
Causeway Coast Kayaking Association
Individual sea kayaking expert(s)
Landowners (local councils and the National Trust)
The Coastguard
Belfast Harbour

Delivery date – by end 2010 subject to funding

Canoe Signage Strategy for Northern Ireland

In December 2008 the official access points on the Strangford Lough Canoe Trail received directional road signage. This was funded by DARD and Roads Service.

CAAN hopes to roll this practice out across the rest of Northern Ireland – signing both the canoe trails and other sites where public canoe access is available. The aim is to make is safer and easier for people to access the water for canoeing. The project also includes the production of a NI Canoe Access Guide and an official launch event.

CAAN is currently in the process of securing a funding package for this project.

Delivery date – by end 2010 subject to funding

Foyle Canoe Trail

Work towards securing a funding package for the Foyle Canoe Trail is now underway. The proposed trail will run from Strabane to Magilligan, following the Donegal side of the Lough. The trail is designed to compliment a range of external development projects in the area, including the development of Gribben Quay camping/caravanning site and the refurbishment of Lough Foyle Yacht Club at Culmore Point.

Delivery date – by April 2010 subject to funding

Trannish Island Bothy

In partnership with The Share Centre, CAAN is in the process of securing a funding package for the restoration of an old cottage dwelling on TrannishIsland on Lough Erne. The site is already used for camping but will be much enhanced should the bothy development take place. Plans include an upgrade of the existing building to a standard similar to that of Salt Island Bothy (on the Strangford Lough Canoe Trail), with 2 sleeping rooms, one communal living area, and a new eco-friendly shower and toilet block. The facility will utilise energy-efficient technologies and will be managed and maintained by The Share Centre (property owners).

Delivery date – by end September 2010 subject to funding

For further information on any of the above projects please contact:

Kathryn Callaghan
Countryside Recreation & Water-based Development Officer
028 9030 3937

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