Connecting Derry City to the border towns of Lifford and Strabane, this cycle route is a mixture of traffic-free paths and quiet country roads and lanes which crosses between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. There are many attractions along the route including the Foyle Valley Railway Museum or Gray's Printer's Museum.
Starting close to the Tourist Information Centre in Derry, a five-mile section of traffic-free path runs south towards the County Donegal border. From here, minor roads lead to the villages of Carrigans and Saint Johnston.
After reaching Lifford the route crosses the Foyle River into the market town of Strabane finishing at the town's Tourist Information Centre. At the end of the route you will find magnificent stainless steel and bronze figure sculptures known as Let the Dance Begin. Standing 5.5 metres high, the figures represent a merging of two cultures rich in music and dance.
There are also artworks along the route:
Two viewing structures made from a disused railway footbridge by artist Noah Rose, form a work of two halves that cleverly parallels the North-South political divide in Ireland.
Noah Rose developed the overarching concept, specifying that all artworks should contain two halves, each half to be sited on opposite river banks, thus people must visit both sides to understand the whole artwork.
Each half of the bridge is installed opposite the other and cantilevered out over the river to form a bisected bridge across the River Foyle. At night the empty span is connected by a laser light, a virtual bridge, to symbolise the uniting of the divided halves.
Artists Marcella Ferguson, Colin Dark, Denzil Brown, Martha Lucas, Sarah Greavu and Brian McGhee worked with paired cross-community schools on the Foyle Valley path to explore and respond to the river environment. David Kinnane, Naill Walsh, Paddy Bloomer, Marie Louise Blaney and Noah Rose worked with community groups to develop ideas in relation to the project.
This project was possible through support from Derry County Council, Arts Council Northern Ireland, National Lottery Award, Department of Culture Arts and Leisure (Creativity Seed Fund), and Education for Mutual Understanding.
We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness. However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes. Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces. Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.