Royal Canal Bike Fishing

Todays MillFam adventure was a 4k walk along the Royal Canal north of Dublin City center. We hoped on the LUAS and road the green line north to the end O’Connell upper, we were only on a Purnell run that does not go all the way to the end. The LUAS to the end stop at Broom Bridge was not due for another 10 minutes so we followed the track to the next stop in the direction we were headed. On the way, we passed by someone flushing out a water line. He was nice enough to open the value a second time to give me a chance to take a few pictures. We made it to Dominic station with about 2 minutes to wait before the LUAS arrived and took us to Broom Bridge.

This lad was having fun with his job – spraying water all over the place
Basic route for today’s adventure

From Broom bridge, we walked on a bridge over the canal, then headed south on the walkway beside the river. Does not feel like we’re in the most favorable area of town, lots of run down areas along the river, and trash here and there. Thankfully that does not last too long and the walkway cleans up and feels like it should fee. Like a green park-like area along some water. The number of bikers and walkers passing us was much greater than we figured it would be being this far from town. The kids are starting to get better staying to one side of the road avoiding being run over. I say starting because there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Through the man-trap onto the canal path

Walking along the canal – fishing

Right off the bat we tossed in the magnets and start fishing for things. On about toss 4 Maddex comes with 5cents. Oh boy, he is excited to pull up his first money. After about 5 minutes of pulling up random metal bits, we carried on down the path doing our best to prevent Roxi from jumping / falling into the water. Next stop is Lock number 8 for some more fishing. Roxi is freaking us out next to the water so she gets shoved back into the pack. she only slightly resists before accepting her captivity.

At the lock, Maddex snagged a heavy chunk of metal he was unable to lift on his own. We had to attach both of our magnets to it and pull in tandem. Eventually, we pulled a big green thing out of the water that looked like some piece of fence. We left it next to the lock in case it’s owner came back looking for it. After the Metal fence, Mom spotted a wheel on the back side of the lock. Maddex and mom tossed for it for a few minutes until they eventually caught it. The wheel was not very exciting at all, we left it on the side for it’s owner to find too.

Metal Fence or something?


Fishing below one of the locks for a wheel we forgot to grabAlong the walk, the girls were all picking flowers to put in their hair. At one point there were some bright pink flowers up a hill everyone had to climb and pick. The hill was black sand/soot and made a mess on everyone. From there on everyone had black dirt all over their faces looking like they’d been working in a coal mine. Totally worth it the flowers which looked cute in the girl’s hair.

Mom Sporting her Coal hill flower – her cheeks already look a bit sunburnt

Off to our left, we noticed a tall stone tower looking thing we had to climb the fence to look at. Now that we’re home I looked it up and it appears to the O’Connell tower at Glasnevin cemetery and botanic gardens The tower was built-in 1854 in honour of Daniel O’Connell a political leader for Ireland and the Catholic church in the 1800’s, The tower was bombed about 6 years before I was born and it took until Roxi was born in 2016 for the repairs of the tower and stairs to be completed.  – we might need to book a tour and check out the tower and museum and cemetery sometime in the future.

You can see the tower next to Maddex off in the distance

Our next find was a parking clamp near lock number 6. I saw what looked like money in the water and stopped to fish, then Maddex and Mila wanted in on the fishing. Didn’t snag any money, all I came up with were bottle caps. Under the ladder out of the water, there was a yellow triangle Maddex tried to lift. It was too heavy for him so we had to double team it. After some team pulling, we came up with a parking clamp and some huge chain. Weighed more than Maddex; no problem for two 200# lifting magnets – another metal object left on the side of the canal to be found by it’s rightful owner.

Parking Clamp pulled from the canal with teamwork

Next exciting thing we ran into was some swans with babies. Momma called the babies ugly ducklings, the kids listened and kept their distance to avoid being attacked. A bit further down on our walk after we crossed to the other side of the canal we saw another set of swans in a corner. Walking up to them we discovered they were guarding a nest filled with eggs. The closer we approached the larger the swans made themselves look – basically telling us to back the f up or they were going to eat our faces off. Again the kids listened well and kept a healthy distance.

Swans with ugly babies
more swans guarding their eggs

Lunch and some Bikes

Around noon or so we came to a nice shaded spot in the grass where we stopped to have lunch. Ham and cheese, jelly sandwiches, honey roasted peanuts, fruit, and rice crackers with butter and cookie butter. Maddex had to pee as soon as we sat down, of course, there’s not a bathroom in sight. Maddex ended up peeing behind a tree. Mila watched saying she was trying to block people from being able to see – really she was just watching. The Kids laid out their jackets on the grass and sat down for a bit and ate. Was a nice 3 minutes of calm before they got up and went back to fishing in the water.  – Michelle and I stretched our lunch out longer a bit longer and took our time eating slowly.

Lunch in the shade

After lunch is when the fun fishing started. Shortly after Croke park came into view we spotted the first bike in the canal. The first one is always the hardest I guess. Took us a good 20 minutes of pulling to get the bike up the edge where Michelle hang over to help pull it up. The trick was getting the magnet to stick on a dense enough slab of metal to hold. The magnets kept coming loose as soon as we pulled too hard. The first good hold I got was enough to flip the bike over out of the mud. Then Maddex and I were both working on it and eventually got it next to the wall and pulled it up out of the water. While we were pulling it up a local boy was looking at us through the fence and it sounded like he said that was his bike or his friends bike. He said they tossed it in the water after they did not want it anymore. The bike was not in great shape so we left it there on the side of the walkway

The first bike of the day – you can see the local trying to crawl under the fence to check it out

Not far from the first bike Maddex spotted a hula hoop in the water he hung over the edge and picked up. Mila was the hoop champ and did her best to lay claim to the hoop for the rest of the trip home. Right after the hoop Maddex spotted another bike in the water. We’re pro’s now and the second bike only took about 10 minutes to pull out. This one has plastic on it and looks like a motorbike. We cleaned it off a bit and Maddex rode it around for a bit until He and mom found some leeches on it. After the leech scare, he did not want to ride it much anymore.

Second bike we found.

Not far from the leech bike we found the third bike of the day. This bike is even better than the green bike. It’s a five-speed in great shape that does not look like it’s been in the water for long. While we were pulling out bike number three Mila somehow tossed the hula hoop through a fence into a schoolyard. I had to scale the fence and jump into the schoolyard to retrieve her hoop. Sadly the LUAS does not allow bikes unless they fold. No matter how sweet the bikes we found are they are not coming home with us unless we ride them home – Guess we are catch and release fishermen today; we leave the bikes along the walkway for some other kids to find.


We did a horrible job with sun cream today. By the time we made it home, we are all stinging a bit with sunburns – DOH. Once we heal from these burns we’ll need to do better next time for sure. Does not take long out there in that sun to burn this pale white family. Along the walk home, we saw a statue of a guy pulling a rope out of the water. Maddex and Mom had to try to imitate the statue.



The Rest of the pictures

Heading south – Dart and Luas stations on the other side of the water
Everybody stop and look cute before someone gets wet and falls in the water
Luas Depot
From here on out the kids all looked like Coal miners faces covered in black
We totally look like twins – right?
O’Connell tower



Fishing under a bridge
Lunch across the water from a snooker club







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