Call us on +353 87 261 7967 or email info@killarneyboattours.com

Call us on +353 87 261 7967 or email info@killarneyboattours.com

Killarney National Park

Located to the South and West of Killarney is the Killarney National Park. The Park is 26,000 acres in total and encompasses Mountains, Lakes and Woodlands. In 1981 the Park was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Some of the main historical sites include Muckross House and Gardens, Killarney House and Gardens, Muckross Abbey, Ross Castle and Innisfallen Island to name a few.

Wildlife in the Park includes large animals such as the Sika Deer and Red Deer populations as well as numerous waterbirds such as Geese, Swans, Kingfishers and Grouse.

Woodlands

There are 3 main woodlands in Killarney National Park:

O'Sullivan's Cascade
Tomies Wood

On the Western shore of Lough Leane is one of the largest natural Oak Forests in Europe. The Oak trees here are largely of the Sessile species. Sessile Oak is the National Tree of Ireland and it’s uses include ship building and furniture making. The lesser quality pieces are used for building fences and for roof beams.

Tomies Wood has been famous through hundreds of years for hunting Red Deer and is a part of the famous Irish story; Tir na nÓg. In the story, a famous warrior named Oisin, brother of Fionn Mac Cumhaill (leader of The Fianna) fell in love with a beautiful lady named Niamh whom they met while hunting in Tomies Wood. It was also to Tomies Wood that Queen Victoria was taken when she visited Killarney in 1862 to see a demonstration of Deer Hunting by local Gamekeepers.

O'Sullivan's Cascade
Tomies Wood

On the Western shore of Lough Leane is one of the largest natural Oak Forests in Europe. The Oak trees here are largely of the Sessile species. Sessile Oak is the National Tree of Ireland and it’s uses include ship building and furniture making. The lesser quality pieces are used for building fences and for roof beams.

Tomies Wood has been famous through hundreds of years for hunting Red Deer and is a part of the famous Irish story; Tir na nÓg. In the story, a famous warrior named Oisin, brother of Fionn Mac Cumhaill (leader of The Fianna) fell in love with a beautiful lady named Niamh whom they met while hunting in Tomies Wood. It was also to Tomies Wood that Queen Victoria was taken when she visited Killarney in 1862 to see a demonstration of Deer Hunting by local Gamekeepers.

Muckross Peninsula

The Yew Forest in Muckross Peninsula is one of only three in Western Europe and is just over 60 acres in size. In most areas, Yew trees grow only be large shrubs but in some areas such as Killarney, the Yews can grow to be over 100ft tall. The Yew trees can live for over 1000 years, the oldest in Europe is over 2000 years old.

The Monks of Muckross Abbey cultivated the Yew Wood known as Reenadinna. Yew timber is apparently the best to use to make bows for archery. The Monks sold the timber to support the Abbey, buy food and wine! The Yew trees don’t grow like deciduous trees that leaves rings for each year grown so it’s very difficult to know the age of the forest but it is certainly 250-300 years old with the large Yew tree at the centre of Muckross Abbey possibly 1000 years old.

Yew tree Muckross Abbey
Yew tree Muckross Abbey
Muckross Peninsula

The Yew Forest in Muckross Peninsula is one of only three in Western Europe and is just over 60 acres in size. In most areas, Yew trees grow only be large shrubs but in some areas such as Killarney, the Yews can grow to be over 100ft tall. The Yew trees can live for over 1000 years, the oldest in Europe is over 2000 years old.

The Monks of Muckross Abbey cultivated the Yew Wood known as Reenadinna. Yew timber is apparently the best to use to make bows for archery. The Monks sold the timber to support the Abbey, buy food and wine! The Yew trees don’t grow like deciduous trees that leaves rings for each year grown so it’s very difficult to know the age of the forest but it is certainly 250-300 years old with the large Yew tree at the centre of Muckross Abbey possibly 1000 years old.

Derrycunnihy wood
Derrycunnihy Wood

Derrycunnihy Wood translates to ‘Wood of the Rabbits’. It is another of Killarney’s Sessile Oak woods. This woodland suffered extensive deforestation in the 17th and 18th Centuries with the British Army cutting down the trees and shipping through the Gap of Dunloe. The timber was then used for ship building and barrel making.

From Lord Brandon’s Cottage there is a beautiful little known trail which can be taken called the ‘Mass Path’. This gravel trail (4km long) leads from the Cottage to Derrycunnihy Church which is up on the main Killarney to Kenmare Road. The route is so called because it was the route that all the inhabitants of the Gap of Dunloe and Black Valley travelled to get to Church every week.

Derrycunnihy wood
Derrycunnihy Wood

Derrycunnihy Wood translates to ‘Wood of the Rabbits’. It is another of Killarney’s Sessile Oak woods. This woodland suffered extensive deforestation in the 17th and 18th Centuries with the British Army cutting down the trees and shipping through the Gap of Dunloe. The timber was then used for ship building and barrel making.

From Lord Brandon’s Cottage there is a beautiful little known trail which can be taken called the ‘Mass Path’. This gravel trail (4km long) leads from the Cottage to Derrycunnihy Church which is up on the main Killarney to Kenmare Road. The route is so called because it was the route that all the inhabitants of the Gap of Dunloe and Black Valley travelled to get to Church every week.

Lakes

Killarney is famous for it’s 3 lakes…

Upper Lake Killarney
Upper Lake

This lake is furthest from Killarney and is seen from the Main Killarney to Kenmare Road. The Upper Lake is best seen from Ladies View (around 15km from Killarney). Another name for this lake is ‘Lochan Fada’ which means The Long Lake. The Upper Lake is around 1km wide but is nearly 5km long. The deepest part of this lake is roughly 30m.

Surrounded by rocks, this lake can get nearly lukewarm should we experience some warm weather during the summer months. The rocks around the lake hold the heat from the day and they continue to heat the lake even at night. This lake has very little traffic aside from the boats doing the tour and some of the local fishermen, there is also no road around the lake except for a few gravel trails making it a very peaceful place to visit and fish upon.

Upper Lake Killarney
Upper Lake

This lake is furthest from Killarney and is seen from the Main Killarney to Kenmare Road. The Upper Lake is best seen from Ladies View (around 15km from Killarney). Another name for this lake is ‘Lochan Fada’ which means The Long Lake. The Upper Lake is around 1km wide but is nearly 5km long. The deepest part of this lake is roughly 30m.

Surrounded by rocks, this lake can get nearly lukewarm should we experience some warm weather during the summer months. The rocks around the lake hold the heat from the day and they continue to heat the lake even at night. This lake has very little traffic aside from the boats doing the tour and some of the local fishermen, there is also no road around the lake except for a few gravel trails making it a very peaceful place to visit and fish upon.

Middle Lake

The Middle or ‘Muckross Lake’ is the deepest lake in Ireland at 110m deep. The lake is a part of the ‘Bourne Vincent Memorial Park’, the first National Park in Ireland dating back to 1932. This is the lake that can be viewed from Muckross House & Gardens.

There is a 10km looped walk around this lake known locally as the Muckross and Dinis loop. Dinis Cottage is a café on the Northern shore of the lake dates back to the 18th Century. Originally a hunting lodge for the Herbert Family, the Cottage is now a welcome stop on the trip around the lake. Behind the Cottage is the Meeting of the Waters and the Old Weir Bridge.

Muckross Lake Killarney
Muckross Lake Killarney
Middle Lake

The Middle or ‘Muckross Lake’ is the deepest lake in Ireland at 110m deep. The lake is a part of the ‘Bourne Vincent Memorial Park’, the first National Park in Ireland dating back to 1932. This is the lake that can be viewed from Muckross House & Gardens.

There is a 10km looped walk around this lake known locally as the Muckross and Dinis loop. Dinis Cottage is a café on the Northern shore of the lake dates back to the 18th Century. Originally a hunting lodge for the Herbert Family, the Cottage is now a welcome stop on the trip around the lake. Behind the Cottage is the Meeting of the Waters and the Old Weir Bridge.

Ross Castle on Loch Lein
Lower Lake

The Lower Lake or Lough Léin is the biggest lake in Killarney, measuring 19km2 and 5km at its longest point. The deepest part of the Lower Lake is 70m. There are a number of iconic historical buildings on the shores of the Lake such as Ross Castle and the Monastery on Innisfallen Island, Muckross Abbey and Castlelough Castle.

Lough Léin is named after the mythological character ‘Lein the Smith’, who is said to rest beneath the waters of the lake ready to rise up and protect it’s mineral wealth.

Ross Castle on Loch Lein
Lower Lake

The Lower Lake or Lough Léin is the biggest lake in Killarney, measuring 19km2 and 5km at its longest point. The deepest part of the Lower Lake is 70m. There are a number of iconic historical buildings on the shores of the Lake such as Ross Castle and the Monastery on Innisfallen Island, Muckross Abbey and Castlelough Castle.

Lough Léin is named after the mythological character ‘Lein the Smith’, who is said to rest beneath the waters of the lake ready to rise up and protect it’s mineral wealth.

Mountains

As we pass through the Gap of Dunloe and boat along the Long Range, you are treated to views of the Killarney mountains up close…

Purple Mountain
Purple Mountain range

This Mountain Range includes the Purple (832m), Tomies (735m) and Shehy (762m) Mountains. These mountains form the Western border of the National Park. There are numerous trails such as the 6km Tomies Wood Loop as well as the walk across all the peaks of the range, this can start and finish at Kate Kearney’s Cottage.

This Mountain Range is synonymous with Killarney and they are the dominant landscape feature of the town when entering from the North or when walking by the Lakes.

Purple Mountain
Purple Mountain range

This Mountain Range includes the Purple (832m), Tomies (735m) and Shehy (762m) Mountains. These mountains form the Western border of the National Park. There are numerous trails such as the 6km Tomies Wood Loop as well as the walk across all the peaks of the range, this can start and finish at Kate Kearney’s Cottage.

This Mountain Range is synonymous with Killarney and they are the dominant landscape feature of the town when entering from the North or when walking by the Lakes.

Mangerton

Mangerton Mountain is the tallest Mountain on the National Park at 838m. The name has a few translations but can mean ‘fickle’ perhaps due to the changeable weather conditions or the harsh growing conditions on the mountainside where many families made their homes. Mangerton is located on the Southern border of Killarney National Park and has a corrie near the top called The Devil’s Punchbowl.

Devil's Punchbowl Mangerton
Devil's Punchbowl Mangerton
Mangerton

Mangerton Mountain is the tallest Mountain on the National Park at 838m. The name has a few translations but can mean ‘fickle’ perhaps due to the changeable weather conditions or the harsh growing conditions on the mountainside where many families made their homes. Mangerton is located on the Southern border of Killarney National Park and has a corrie near the top called The Devil’s Punchbowl.

Torc mountain Killarney
Torc Mountain

Torc Mountain (535m) is a part of the Mangerton Mountain range but is very accessible and has a beautiful view from the top. Torc is located to the Northwest of Mangerton and has views over the 3 Lakes of Killarney as well as the McGillycuddy’s Reeks in the distance. A popular hill for families, there is a path made from wooden sleepers leading all the way to the top.

The walk begins at Torc Waterfall where there is a free car park. Aside from the walk to the top of Torc Mountain, there are numerous forestry trails and the infamous Cardiac Hill for visitors to check out. Views are fantastic and panoramic and don’t require visitors to set aside an entire day. The name of the mountain translates to ‘Wild Boar’. The famous Irish warrior Fionn MacCumhaill is said to have killed a magical boar on the hill with his golden spear.

Torc mountain Killarney
Torc Mountain

Torc Mountain (535m) is a part of the Mangerton Mountain range but is very accessible and has a beautiful view from the top. Torc is located to the Northwest of Mangerton and has views over the 3 Lakes of Killarney as well as the McGillycuddy’s Reeks in the distance. A popular hill for families, there is a path made from wooden sleepers leading all the way to the top.

The walk begins at Torc Waterfall where there is a free car park. Aside from the walk to the top of Torc Mountain, there are numerous forestry trails and the infamous Cardiac Hill for visitors to check out. Views are fantastic and panoramic and don’t require visitors to set aside an entire day. The name of the mountain translates to ‘Wild Boar’. The famous Irish warrior Fionn MacCumhaill is said to have killed a magical boar on the hill with his golden spear.