5 Hidden Gems of Killarney National Park
Everyone knows about celebrated Killarney attractions such as Muckross House & Gardens and Ross Castle, but what about the lesser-known beauties that don’t attract such crowds of admirers? Killarney National Park is studded with delights that many casual visitors miss, but next time you stay at Coolclogher House, you can give yourself a treat. Here are some of our favourite spots that you might not know about:
To visit Ross Island you won’t have to find a boat: More like a peninsula than an island, Ross Island is a 150-acre wooded area accessible via a bridge across the channel near Ross Castle. Take a walk along the three-kilometre path that loops the island, dipping in and out of the woods and offering stunning views of Lough Leane, the biggest of Killarney’s famous lakes. Veer off the main path to explore Library Point and Governor’s Rock and enjoy even more gorgeous views.
Ross Castle and Ross Island, Killarney
Old Weir Bridge
There is a delightful walking/cycling route off the N71 Kenmare Road that loops around Muckross Lake that brings you past a gorgeous Victorian tea-room called Dinis Cottage. Right beside the cottage is a sign for the Meeting of the Waters, where the three lakes of Killarney meet. This path is a little off the beaten track, so wear proper walking shoes, but you won’t have to go far to be rewarded for your efforts. Just beyond the Meeting of the Waters, you will see the picturesque Old Weir Bridge, an old stone double-arch bridge, with stunning views of the Upper Lake.
Old Weir Bridge, Killarney
About 5km from Killarney, on the main N71 Kenmare Road, turn left immediately after the Muckross Park Hotel in the direction of Mangerton. After a few hundred metres, you will see a small parking area at the entrance to the Blue Pool & Cloghereen walking trails. Park here and walk up the road a little further to reach the lovely 5km Killegy Woods walking trail. Soak up the peace of the woods and escape to recharge for a while.
As you approach Moll’s Gap from the Killarney end of the N71 Kenmare Road, you’ll discover a ruggedly beautiful section of Killarney National Park called Derrycunnihy. Park at the tiny church by the roadside and cross the road to explore a thoroughly rewarding trail that extends all the way to the Black Valley. To reach Derrycunnihy Cascade, follow the trail for about 1km before turning right at the “To N71” sign. Listen for the sound of thundering water and you will soon arrive at an impressive cascade, near the site of the now-demolished Queen’s Cottage. The grassy path beside the river can be slippery, but be careful and you will be rewarded with beautiful views of the river bank.
Queens Cottage in it’s hayday
Arthur Young Walk
Leave the crowds behind in Muckross Garden and dip into the Arthur Young Walk, just off the path around Muckross Lake. The walk is named after the celebrated English agriculturalist and writer, Arthur Young, who visited the Muckross estate in the autumn of 1776. The walk includes The Old Boathouse Trail, which hugs the lakeshore by Dundag Point and continues on to the majestic Torc Waterfall. After you’ve explored the gardens and Muckross Abbey, you can return to Muckross House via the Monks Walk.
The great thing about all these gems is that they are all easily accessible from Coolclogher House. For more information, get in touch. We’d love to help!