Ireland's reliance on the private car for transport is having a negative impact on the environment and public health; a modal shift from driving to cycling has the potential to reduce Ireland's carbon dioxide emissions and improve public health. Irish government policy commits to an increase in the modal share of cycling from 2% to 10% and the establishment of a National Cycle Network. In this network, the length of greenways (off-road cycle trails) will be maximised, however, no guidance exists for the design, maintenance or route selection of greenways in Ireland. Furthermore, internationally, while there is diverse literature with guidelines on cycle-route design, to date this has not been collated and reviewed. This paper reviews literature on the route selection, geometric design, pavement structure and maintenance of greenways from Ireland, UK, France, Denmark, USA and Australia. The review is of interest to designers, planners and other stakeholders, and can inform the development of guidelines for the design and maintenance of new greenways such as those proposed as part of the Nation Cycle Network in Ireland.