RTÉ presenter Bláthnaid Treacy at the Royal Canal harbour in Mullingar.

Tracks and Trails focuses on Westmeath next week

Some of the best places to walk and cycle in County Westmeath will feature on an episode of RTÉ’s popular Tracks and Trails programme next week.

The show returns to RTÉ this year after a two-year break, and for its ninth series. The Westmeath episode is the third in the latest series and will air on RTÉ 1 on Friday June 11 at 7.30pm.

The show aims to showcase the range of beautiful hikes, walks and cycles on newly developed and lesser travelled routes across Ireland.

This year, there is also an emphasis on the health and wellbeing benefits associated with getting outside and spending time in nature.

Filming in Westmeath took place in April, sponsored and facilitated by Westmeath County Council.

Úna Doris, tourism officer, said “the programme is a wonderful way to spotlight our range of fantastic walks and greenways to potential visitors”.

During the half-hour, presenter Bláthnaid Treacy will be shown hiring a bike on the Royal Canal Greenway in Mullingar. From there she’ll join the Old Rail Trail and cycle westwards towards Athlone, enjoying the various stations, bridges and tunnels along the way, with a stop at Dún na Sí Amenity and Heritage Park.

GAA star Dessie Dolan will guide Bláthnaid from Streamstown to Moate on the greenway. She’ll then enjoy tours of the Hill of Uisneach and Belvedere House, Gardens and Park, learning stories from local tour guides Justin Moffatt and Mary Bannon.

The programme also features a peaceful walk at Mullaghmeen Forest, where Bláthnaid met with Mullingar musician and mental health advocate Niall Breslin.

The opportunity to spotlight Westmeath’s lakes was also taken, through the inclusion of an interview with photographer James Crombie at Lough Ennell, where his famous starling murmuration photo was captured earlier this year.

Information on the various walks and greenways around Westmeath can be found at www.visitwestmeath.ie/get-outdoors