The kayaking capital of Ireland, Ballymahon on the River Inny is the ideal location from which to explore the waterways in the midlands. Both the river Inny and the Royal Canal intersect the town and the magnificent Lough Ree on the Shannon is only a few miles down the road.

The River Inny has an excellent kayaking run close to the town; appropriate for beginners, intermediate and advanced enthusiasts. A 4km stretch of prime paddling real estate, the Inny offers rapids containing some pour-overs, stoppers, holes and standing waves. It is the only stretch of water of this type in the midlands area and attracts beginners and experienced paddlers alike. A wild water race and a slalom event are hosted on the river by the local club every year and attract the best of paddling talent from all over the country and further afield.

The Royal Canal and nearby Lough Ree are perfect for a more sedate pleasure paddle and there are a number of local kayak hire options available.

The mighty Shannon is also only a few miles away and there are a variety of boat rental services in the area; we particularly recommend the Viking cruise ship which brings you from Athlone Castle to the historic monastery of Clonmacnoise in nearby Co Offaly. Lough Ree is the second largest lake on the Shannon after Lough Derg and is popular with water enthusiasts of all kinds.

The main line of the Royal Canal opened in 2010 after 50 years of closure; the canal is a perfect venue for boating, canoeing and is very popular with coarse fishermen. The local Royal Canal Amenity Group is responsible for maintaining the Canal in the greater Ballymahon area and has accomplished fantastic work in renovating and maintaining this valuable local resource.