Visiting the Park

There are a multitude of ways for visitors to see and experience for themselves the scenic splendour, subtle beauties and cultural heritage of Killarney National Park.

For the active, walking and cycling are two of the best ways to see the National Park. The network of surfaced tracks in the Muckross, Knockreer and Ross Island areas are ideal for both cyclists and walkers, (photo Mike Sandover)and bicycles can be rented from many locations in and around Killarney Town. There are many low-level walks of all lengths in the Muckross area, including several nature trails, details of which can be obtained from the National Park Visitor(photo Mike Sandover) Centre at Muckross House.
Active walkers will enjoy the Old Kenmare Road or the track around Tomies Oakwood, with its magnificent views down over Killarney and Lough Leane. The circuit of Muckross Lake is a medium length (2-3 hour) walk with minimal height gain, and once again has plenty of the superb scenery for which Killarney is justifiably famous.

For the more energetic it is possible to combine a walk or cycle ride with a boat trip by travelling to the top of the Upper Lake by open boat (most boat operators will take bikes on board), and returning to Killarney by cycling via the Gap of Dunloe or walking via the Old Kenmare Road (not to be underestimated!).

Boat Trips are available in (photo Mike Sandover)several locations within the National Park, however the main boating centre is at Ross Castle, and from here visitors can embark on a traditional open boat trip through the entire lake system to Lord Brandon's Cottage at the head of the Upper Lake. This trip lasts approximately 1½-2 hours, and is one of the finest ways to experience the unspoilt 'wildness' of the National Park. Alternatively, covered 'waterbus' trips around Lough Leane are available, which include a commentary on some of the natural aspects of the area. Many shorter boat trips are also available from Ross Castle, such as trips to the Island of Inisfallen.

One of the most conspicuous (photo Mike Sandover)features of the Killarney area is the many horse-drawn Jaunting Cars to be seen operating both within and outside the National Park. Jaunting cars are a pleasant and traditional way to see the area and operate on many different routes. There are jaunting car stands at Muckross House, Torc Waterfall and Killarney Town.

To see the area by car, the best road to take is the Kenmare Road towards Moll's Gap. This will take you past the magnificent Ladies View viewing point, from where you can enjoy a superb panorama of the Upper Killarney Valley.

For groups with an interest in the Natural History and Ecology of the National Park, staff of Killarney National Park Education Centre are available to lead walks and give slide shows. For more details click here.

Places to visit in the National Park include:

The climate in Killarney is oceanic, and is heavily influenced by the gulf stream. This means that temperatures are generally cool in summer (July average approximately 15°c), mild in winter (February average approximately 6°c), and it can (and often does!) rain at any time of the year. Rain generally tends to be light and showery however, and persistent heavy rainfall is not common.

Access to Killarney National Park is open all year round, and there is no charge for visiting the Park (with the exception of certain special sites such as Muckross House and Ross Castle). Please note that camping within the National Park is generally not permitted, however there are many campsites close to Killarney itself.

Further details of all of the above can be obtained by contacting the National Park Visitor Centre at Muckross House.


Killarney National Park
Introduction ~ Photo Gallery ~ What's Happening? ~ History ~ Noteworthy Species ~ Bird life ~ Red Deer ~ Lakes ~ Muckross House ~ Oakwoods ~ Yew Wood ~ Park Rangers ~ Rhododendron ~ Cultural Heritage ~ Visiting the Park ~ Killarney Town

Killarney National Park Education Centre
Introduction ~ Recent Visits ~ Staff ~ Primary Schools ~ Post-primary Schools ~ Third Level Groups ~ Tour Groups ~ Youth Groups ~ Accommodation ~ Cappanalea

Other Irish National Parks
Burren ~ Connemara ~ Glenveagh ~ Mayo ~ Wicklow Mountains