Killarney National Park in detail

Activities

The park offers superb opportunities for walking, cycling and fishing.

Walking

Killarney's tourist office stocks walking guides and maps. Killarney Guided Walks leads guided explorations.

Muckross Lake Loop Trail

You could easily spend most of a day ambling around this waymarked 9.5km loop trail (anticlockwise only for cyclists), which takes in some of the most photogenic parts of Killarney National Park. Starting from Muckross House, you head west through lovely lakeshore woods (with lots of side trails to explore) to reach postcard-pretty Brickeen Bridge, which spans the channel linking Lough Leane and the Middle Lake.

Continue to the sylvan glades that surround the Meeting of the Waters, where channels from all three of Killarney's lakes merge. Don't miss the 10 minute side trail (no bikes) to Old Weir Bridge, where you can watch tour boats powering through the narrow, rocky channel beneath its twin arches (here, a swiftly flowing current links the Upper and Middle Lakes).

On the return leg along the south shore of Middle Lake, the trail passes through woods before reaching the N71 Killarney–Kenmare road. Here, walkers have the option of climbing uphill on the other side of the road to visit Torc Waterfall before returning to Muckross House. Cyclists have to follow the main road east for 1km before regaining the off-road trail. Between the road and Muckross House you can detour along the Old Boathouse Nature Trail, which leads around a scenic peninsula.

Maps and details are available from Killarney tourist office and Muckross House ticket office.

Fishing

Trout Fishing for brown trout in the lakes of Killarney National Park is free (no permit needed). The season runs from 15 February to 12 October. Fishing from the bank is allowed, but the best sport is to be had from a boat, which you can hire at Ross Castle or at Sweeney's (at the west end of Lough Leane) for €40 a day (including outboard motor, up to three people).

Salmon The River Laune, which flows from Lough Leane to the sea, is one of Ireland's best salmon rivers. The season runs from 17 January to 30 September, with the best fishing from late July onward. Both a permit (one day €20) and a state rod licence (one day/three weeks €20/40) are required. You can also fish for salmon in the Killarney lakes (no permit needed, but state rod licence is still required).

O'Neill's angling centre in Killarney provides information, rents rods and tackle, and sells permits and licences.