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Top Ten Walking Routes In Killarney

- Posted on: 10/09/2019 - $itemValue.title

Nestled deep in the sleepy woodlands of the Killarney National Park, the Castlerosse Park Resort is the ideal haven for the perfect walking holiday. Overlooking sweeping views of the magnificent MacGillycuddy Reeks and the glistening Lower Lake, it makes for an incredible location to explore the wonders of the 25,000-acre park by foot with many more popular walks just a short drive away.

Here’s our top recommendations…

 ross castle

No. 1 Ross Castle
Time
: 2 Hours

Departure Point: Castlerosse Park Resort  
Walking Level: Easy 
Highlights: 15th Century Ross Castle/ Optional Boat Trip on Lough Leane / Visit to Inisfallen Island. Set off from the Resort and take a stroll through the picturesque woodland of the Killarney Demesne, discovering the many wonders of the park as you go. Get up close and personal with its unique wildlife such as the Kerry Cows and of course the famous Red Deer, (the only indigenous herd left in Ireland), which are plentiful along this route. The trail also offers a real insight into the unspoilt and peaceful landscape of the reserve with the opportunity to explore the legendary stronghold of 15th Century Ross Castle at its end.

 

ross castle

 

No. 2 Ross island
Time
:1 Hour

Departure Point: Ross Castle
Walking Level: Easy
Highlights: Blue Pool/ Copper Mines/Grosvenor Rock/Library Point.
As an extension from exploring the historic Ross Castle, a walk around Ross Island is another easy going and pleasant woodland walking route with plenty of little surprises along the way. Discover the old Copper Mines and the beautiful Blue Pool as well as extraordinary viewing points like Grosvenor Rock and Library Point where you can catch the most spectacular panoramic views of the gleaming Killarney Lakes and beyond.

 

blue pool

  

No. 3 Killarney Circular Walk
Time
:1 to 2 Hours

Departure Point: Castlerosse Park Resort
Walking Level: Easy
Highlights: Views of Lough Leane and MacGillycuddy Reeks/ St. Mary’s Cathedral/ Knockreer House/ Deenagh Lodge/ Killarney House & Gardens.
Enjoy a ramble through the Killarney National Park on route to the buzz of Killarney Town direct from the Castlerosse Park Resort. Choose from the many different trails which allow you to delve into the true diversity of the Park. Take the tarmacked woodland option and pass the local playground via the Fossa Way or go the rustic route to encounter the herds of majestic Red Deer grazing on the Park's pastures and experience open parkland views.
When the spire of St. Mary’s Cathedral comes into view, you have reached your destination. Stroll into town to take in the colourful scenes of cosmopolitan Killarney or venture a short distance to explore the Killarney House & Gardens. Return via the Demense entrance and stop off at Deenagh Lodge for a well-deserved coffee before making the journey back to the comfort of the Resort.

  

No. 4 Muckross Farms & Abbey
Time:
1.5 hours
Departure Point:
Muckross House

Walking Level: Easy
Highlights: 14th Century Franciscan Abbey and Muckross Traditional Farms  
Why not enjoy a visit to the Traditional Muckross Farms and go back in time to old rural Ireland with a unique insight into life as it was in an old traditional Irish Thatched Cottage before taking a quick jaunt from Friars Walk to the haunting remains of Muckross Abbey and its surrounding wild woodland treasures. Return to Muckross House via a meandering woodland trail with spectacular lake views.

 

muckross abbey 

  

No. 5 Muckross & Dinis Loop
Time
: 3 Hours

Departure Point: Muckross House
Walking Level: Easy
Highlights: Lake & Mountain Views/ Optional climb of Torc Waterfall on route.
The Muckross Dinis trail is one of Killarney’s most vividly attractive forest walks. From Muckross House take the trail along the peninsula which separates the Middle and Lower Lakes. Cross Brickeen Bridge and enjoy a ramble through acres of charming woodland canopies while stopping to take in the breath-taking views along the way. The route eventually leads to the charming Dinis Cottage and Tearooms which offer a range of sweet and savoury treats to refuel and refresh for more steps ahead. There too are a number of trails around the cottage including Old Weir Bridge, (one of Killarney’s oldest structures) and the ‘Meeting of the Waters’ which are also worth a peek. After the Cottage, continue along the lakeshore to Torc Waterfall on the Kenmare Road – from there you will continue on the Jaunting Car route back to Muckross House.    

 

 dinis

  

No. 6 Torc Mountain & The Kerry Way
Time:
2.5 Hours 
Departure Point:
Carpark of Torc Waterfall 
Walking Level:
Moderate
Highlights:
Views of Killarney Lakes & Mountains/Owengarriff River
Torc Mountain is a scenic yet energetic walking route providing extraordinary views of the Killarney lakes and mountains, Muckross House and the Killarney National Park. Extremely accessible due to its inclusion of wooden sleepers, the route is a favourite amongst locals and visitors alike. Begin your journey along part of the Kerry Way - a famous 200km walking route - where you can enjoy the quiet beauty of the oak wooldlands. Follow the railway sleepers peeking out amongst the rock and heather as you make your steady ascent to the top where you will be rewarded with an open visita and astonishing scenes of Killarney’s three Lakes, the MacGillycuddy Reeks and Killarney Valley. 

 

No. 7 Torc Waterfall
Time
: 1.5 Hours to 3.5 Hours 

Departure Point: Muckross House
Walking Level: Moderate
Highlights: The resonant sounds of the Waterfall/ Scenery across Muckross Lake and Lough Leane/ Optional visit to Muckross House & Gardens.
Starting out from Muckross House, take the trail along the Peninsula and then walk a short distance on the main N71 Kenmare road until you reach Torc Waterfall. Here you can explore stunning views of the Waterfall from dizzying heights and experience the magic of its enchanting cascades. Choose from the Yellow Trail - 40 minutes, the Blue Trail - 60 minutes or the Red Trail - 2 hours and prepare for some challenging and steep climbs along the way and plenty of views to delight the eye. To return, cross the Kenmare Road and follow the signs back to Muckross House.

 

 torc waterfall

  

No. 8 Strickeen – Gap of Dunloe
Time: 3 Hours
Departure Point: Gap of Dunloe
Walking Level: Moderate
Highlights: Views of Carrauntoohil, Gap of Dunloe, Tomies and Purple Mountains and Dingle Bay. 
Part of the MacGillycuddy Reeks family, Stricken, meaning little Peak, is one of the more accessible mountains of its brothers and sisters making it a great walk for families and beginners alike. Starting at the Gap of Dunloe, the walk through the eastern part of the Reeks allows you to get a real taste for the Kerry Mountains and the breath-taking views below. Capture panoramic views as far as Dingle Peninsula as well as the Gap of Dunloe and the Killarney Lakes below.

 

No. 9 Mangerton
Time: 5 Hours
Departure Point:
Gortagullane
Walking Level:
Moderate to Advanced
Highlights:
Tooreencormick Battlefield/Devils Punchbowl/View of Killarney Lakes, Reeks & Paps/ Horses Glen. 

Situated about 5km from Killarney on the N71 to Kenmare, you will find the route to Mangerton Mountain. The mountain offers a moderate to difficult hike with plenty of rewarding scenery such as views of the Devil’s Punchbowl, MacGillycuddy Reeks and the Paps. The area itself is also steeped in Irish mythology with legend stating that after a meeting between Chieftain O’Donoghue Ross and the Devil, (in which the former had angered him greatly), the Devil bit off the top of the mountain thus leading to its punchbowl structure and oval shaped lake. 
A steep ascent leads to the Punchbowl and onwards and from there, the further rewarding climb to the summit.

 

No. 10 Carranutoohil
Time:
6 to 7 Hours 
Departure Point:
Cronin’s Yard
Walking Level:
Advanced

Highlights: Once in a lifetime views of Killarney’s Glaciated Valleys, Lakes and Mountains from Ireland’s highest peak.
Carrauntoohill is the highest mountain peak in Ireland standing at 1,039m and as one can imagine requires a good level of fitness and stamina for the 6 to 7 hour (12km) return climb. Offering once in a life-time views from journey to the summit, the hike’s highlights include tremendous vistas of the Black Valley, MacGillycuddy Reeks and the Gap of Dunloe. The route requires a climb through a steep gully with a light scramble ay the end and different journeys can be taken depending on one’s fitness levels or taste for adventure however the Devil’s Ladder is the most common and safest route to the peak. 

 

*Further information and advice on suitable walks available at reception – guided walks also available.

 

Photo Credit: Paul Garnett & The Killarney Chamber of Commerce.