Leitrim offers some of the most impressive inland scenery in the whole country. It is a small county, extending for about 50 miles between Longford border and Donegal Bay. Here, at Donegal Bay, the county has a coastline of 2 and a half miles. Right in the middle of county Leitrim, there's the first lake of the River Shannon, Lough Allen, which actually divides the county. To its north, there's a mountaineous area that reaches a little over 2,000 feet. East of it, there's another mountaineous area, with the highest point Slieveanierin (1,922 feet high). South of Lough Allen, there's a hilly area, dotted with many lakes. Thus, County Leitrim may be said to be ideal for the hiking enthusiast, who can actually cross it from border to border in two days' time, but still see a variety of landscapes.
The capital of the county is Carrick-on-Shannon, a small town situated on a tight bend of the river Shannon; its location has turned it into a popular centre for boating, and so it has become a thriving tourist centre as well. A variety of pleasure craft is available, to suit larger or smaller groups, and the Shannon-Erne waterway links Leitrim to Fermanagh. A wonderful victorian brick canal, with 34 bridges, was completed in 1993, a symbol of peaceful cooperation between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
Apart from cruising, for which nearly every lake in the county is suitable, Lough Allen offers great windsurfing and sailing opportunities. Angling centres are spread all over the county in Dromahair, Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim village, Carrigallen, Mohill, Roosky, to name just a few.
The tourist coming to Leitrim should not miss Lough Gill for two reasons: firstly, the impressive Parks Castle stands on its shore, a 17th century fortified manor house that still has a traditional blacksmith's forge, and secondly, the lake is home to the Lake Isle of Innisfree. Other places of interest in the county are the Ballinamore Museum, with its genealogical centre, as well as various heritage centres, such as The Cavan & Leitrim Railway, a restored steam railway in Dromod, Sliabh an Iarainn Visitor Centre in Drumshambo or Manorhamilton Castle Heritage Centre.
The walker and the cyclist are going to have wonderful experiences in Leitrim. For the former, there are lots of walkways, as well as a few gardens and open farms to see: Lough Allen Circular Walk (48km), The Arigna Miner's Way Circular Walk (41km) and The Historical Trail (54km), the Shannon-Erne Waterway Corridor Walking trails (various lengths), Slí Liatroma (48km)- linking with the Cavan Way, and last, but not least, the 30 walks offered by the seven North Leitrim Glens. The tourist may also want to take the time to see the Lough Rynn House & Gardens in Mohill, or the Swan Island Open Farm in Corawallen, that also offers evening barbeques and ceilis.
As for cycling, Ireland's first long-distance cycling trail is here, partly shared with Fermanagh, that leads around the lakelands and along forgotten little country lanes.
Equestrian sports are also very popular in this area and there are no less than 5 equestrian centres in this small county - in Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim village, Drumshambo, Dromod and Ballinamore. In Ballinamore and Carrick-on-Shannon, golf lovers also have two golf clubs at their disposal.