An action-packed walk with lots to see. Squeeze Muckross House, Muckross Gardens, Torc Waterfall, and a lap of Muckross Lake into just 13 kilometres!
If you have a little more energy we have also prepared a route that also climbs Torc Mountain, which has spectacular views across Lough Leane.
Muckross House, the starting point for today’s walk, would be an impressive mansion wherever it was built, but snuggled on the shores of Muckross Lake and surrounded by the mountains of Killarney National Park transforms it into something spectacular. You’ll walk through the gardens which are a riot of colour and beside the arboretum which has a remarkable collection of trees.
You’ll soon stop at Torc Waterfall to watch the water endlessly plunge over the 20 metre drop, but continue walking and the crowds will disappear leaving you alone to wander through the woods. In these woods moss appears to have fallen like snow with every rock and inch of the forest floor blanketed with a vibrant green that is now creeping its way slowly up the tree trunks.
From it’s a gentle walk back down and around the tranquil waters of Lake Muckross to finish beside Muckross House. Your legs might ache but you’ll be smiling from ear-to-ear!
Tip van de auteur
Stop for a slice of cake in Dinis Tearooms; if the weather is good you can sit outside with a picturesque view of the lake.
Some of today’s route is on roads with no pavement. Walk on the right-hand side facing the oncoming traffic unless there is a sharp corner in which case you should cross to the outside edge, to give the drivers the maximum time to see you.
There are several streams to cross today; be careful as you cross and bear in mind that the rocks may be slippery, especially when wet.
Tips en hints
Points of Interest
Muckross House and Gardens
Muckross House is a Victorian Mansion and very beautiful in its own right, but placed within the setting of Killarney National Park it is transformed into a thing of grandeur. Sitting proudly on the shore of Lake Muckross with commanding views across the lake, and enclosed by towering mountains, it is a spectacular starting/finishing point for today’s walk. Be sure to explore the stunning gardens and arboretum that surround it.
More information available here: http://www.muckross-house.ie
Torc Waterfall is firmly on the tourist trail and can get congested, but there is good reason for that; it is an impressive waterfall with a 20 metre drop. Once you continue past the waterfall towards Torc Mountain, the crowds will disappear leaving you alone to walk beside the stream which feeds the waterfall.
More information available here: http://www.theringofkerry.com/torc-waterfall
This spot has been a site of Christianity since the religion first came to Ireland in the 6th Century, though the Abbey you see today dates to the 15th century. It fell into ruin just 200 years later during the 1600’s when Oliver Cromwell began his conquest of Ireland. Today the ruins are well-preserved and the surrounding graveyard still hosts a few burials each year. Only a short walk from Muckross House, the Abbey is well-worth a visit.
More information available here: http://www.theringofkerry.com/muckross-abbey
Food and Drink
There is a tearoom, Dinnis Cottage, after 7 kilometres, and there is also a restaurant beside Muckross House where you start and finish.
If you prefer to bring your own food there are several nice spots around the lake where you could have a picnic.
Sturdy hiking boots, warm clothes and a waterproof/wind-break layer are all required. The weather can change quickly so be sure to take all equipment even if the weather looks okay.