Introducing Killarney National Park
Any cynicism built up among Killarney’s ‘My friend kissed the Blarney Stone and all I got was this lousy T-shirt’ stores evaporates when you enter the park. Buses rumble up to Ross Castle and Muckross House, but it’s possible to flee the rest of tourist-kind in 10, 236 hectares, among Ireland’s only wild herd of native Red Deer, the country’s largest area of ancient Oakwoods and views of most of its major mountains.
The glacial Lough Leane (the Lower Lake or ‘Lake of Learning’), Muckross Lake and the Upper Lake make up about a quarter of the park. Their peaty waters are as rich in wildlife as the surrounding soil: cormorants skim across the surface, deer swim out to graze on the islands, and salmon, trout and perch prosper in a pike-free environment.
Designated a Unesco Biosphere Reserve in 1982, the park extends to the southwest of town. There are pedestrian entrances opposite St Mary’s Cathedral, with other entrances (for drivers) off the N71.
Last updated: Mar 2, 2009
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14 March 2012
Lonely Planet has produced this article for Tourism Ireland. All editorial views are those of Lonely Planet alone and reflect...