YOU KNOW IT'S FALL because autumn leaves are underfoot and light rain falls at least once a day. This means the easily-traversed trails along the banks of the River Suir are a little slippery these days. Overhead, an occasional flock of geese fly south. Down the bank, the River Suir appears to be a calm and placid little tributary--nothing like the roaring mass of water known to burst its banks a few miles downstream in the middle of Clonmel. The River Suir is part of Europe’s network of navigable inland waterways and in its day, the Suir made industrial commerce possible by connecting traders to its navigable waterway throughout the entire reach of County Tipperary. As Labhaoise McKenna has explained to third level students in Tipperary Institute, the River Suir made the Industrial Revolution possible in early 19th Century Ireland. The River Suir's transport function has ceased today, replaced by the recognition of its contribution to tourism development and quality of life. Walking the River Suir from Trailhead 69 upstream of Clonmel brings this fact into sharp relief. It's a lovely family activity.