Killarney National Park was the first national park in Ireland, dating back to 1932 when the Muckross Estate was donated to the Irish State. It encompasses 26,000 acres of the most stunning natural scenery, being home to lush mountainous, lakes, rivers, native forests, flatlands and lots of waterfalls. It is located close to the town of Killarney in County Kerry, and can be accessed by foot, or perhaps take a jaunting car there.
There are many aspects to this wonderful park not least its stunning natural surrounding, being home to the largest collection of mature trees in one spot in Ireland, consisting of native oak and yew, it also has the country’s tallest mountain range. Besides this, the park boasts disused copper mines, bat caves, islands populated by swimming deer, stately homes, well-preserved castles, cycle paths and walkways. There is something for everyone here.
The park is rich in wildlife as well as scenic beauty. It is home to the country’s only wild herd of native red deer, the woodlands provide an ideal habitat to red squirrels, pine martens and white-tailed eagles. Whilst the clean waters are home to salmon, brown trout, Artic char an the Killarney shad which, is unique to these the lakes here. There are many, many more species of animal, bird and sea-life here.
The facilities here at Killarney National Park are numerous and varied. There are boat trips that take visitors from Ross Castle to Muckross House, Inisfallen Island, the Meeting of the Waters, the Gap of Dunloe and O’Sullivan’s Cascade. Kayaking trips around the lakes are available and cater to all abilities. There are cycle routes and an abundance of walking routes around the park.
When it comes to bad weather don’t worry there is lots of indoor activities available. Ross Castle has an excellent tour as does Muckross House and Gardens, both are informative and interesting. Also most of the tour boats are covered.
The Visitor Centre is located at Muckross House and it has all the information needed covering all aspects of the park.
Killarney National Park is without a doubt one of the most beautiful spots in all of Ireland to visit. The amazing beauty of the area makes sightseeing one of the best ways to spend time here whilst exploring the numerous free attractions of the area.