The Kilrush Shannon Dolphin Trail guides you around the attractions and facilities in the town that are related to the bottlenose dolphins. Dolphin Trail Marker Posts with directional arrows are located at strategic points along the route. The town section of the trail is around a kilometre in length, with a further 3kms out to Aylevaroo Point.
The Dolphin Trail begins at the Shannon Dolphin Information Board in the town’s Market Square. The first marker post directs you down Frances Street, towards the sea, and the Millennium Park.
Stop and admire the “first breath” sculpture and water-feature, depicting a mother and new-born dolphin calf by the renowned sculptor Danny Osbourne.
Now take a look into the water to see the first exhibit in the unique Floating Fin Exhibition. Look out for other models of whales, dolphins and porpoises floating in the Marina, all of which can be seen off the Clare coast. (Identification can be found at the Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Centre).
The Dolphin Trail now presents you with two options. Following the marker over the bridge the Trail runs along the picturesque coastal road out to the Dolphin-watching site;
Head out past Cappa pier and continue along the coast road past the Rock another popular local swimming area, from here you will see Aylevaroo rising up ahead of you. At this high-point, a Dolphin-watching Information Board has been erected overlooking an area of the estuary regularly frequented by the dolphins. The experience can be enhanced by the use of binoculars.
The coastal walk from Kilrush out to Aylevaroo is possibly the best free local attraction we have in west Clare, on the route families can enjoy a blue flag beach, kids playground, numerous fishing spots, stone beaches and rock pools for the kids to hunt for crabs and small fish and views over Hog and Scattery Islands out to the mouth of the Shannon.
But if you don’t fancy a bit of a walk, stroll through the gates of the Kilrush Creek Marina.
Marina and Dolphin Centre
Dolphin-watching boat trips depart daily from the marina from May to September (weather permitting). Information and booking for dolphin watching trips is also available at the marina centre.