Browse through some our suggestions on the popular moderate walking trails in Kerry. Please be aware these was can be pretty challenging for some & may take a few hours to complete.
The Killarney Pilgrimage Route from Baptism to Death
From St. Mary's Cathedral, via Knockreer Gardens, along footpath, taking in great panoramas of town, lake and mountains. Follow Fossa Way signposts through gate on right. Just short of main road take a left through mixed woodland to Fossa. Alternatively cross the main road. Up by-road directly on other side of main road - this is Boithirín na Marbh (the road of dead) an old funeral road from Innisfallen and Killarney town to Aghadoe - great panorama, remains of 6th century monastery, graveyard.
Gap of Dunloe
A full day's walk right through the Gap to the Black Valley. At T-junction go left. By Black Valley church. Next junction again left to Lord Brandon's Cottage, (snack facilities). Retrace steps or follow Queen's Cottage/Upper Lake route to N71. Caution: if you left from Kate Kearneys Cottage you've covered 14 kms and it is a further 12 kms to Killarney Town. What is most satisfactory is to be collected at, or leave a car on the N71 entrance to the Queens Cottage, Upper Lake walk. To Killarney.
West of Killarney on R562. After 5 kms left or south on unmarked road. Over River Laune. Left in front of Dunloe Castle Hotel. Straight through next junction. Cross the bridge over the Gaddagh River and turn immediately left. At sign on mountain dangers go left up dirt road to high point. Walk through gateway in stone fence. Turn left immediately and follow path built as a relief scheme in the 19th C. Very wild rugged scenery along by the Gaddagh River with the MacGillycuddy Reeks all round. Path goes into the Hag's Glen with Loch Callee on the left and Loch Gouragh on the right. But be warned - to proceed this far requires crossing the river at one point on the road. The river rises extremely fast - if it is wet, or is threatening to rain, do not cross. Retrace steps. About three hours.
Killarney House Gardens
A quiet place in the centre of town. Mature 5-acre garden, cherry drive. Staying within the car-free National Park you can walk to Knockreer Gardens and Ross Island.
Entrance at corner opposite the Cathedral. Route signposted. Up gradual hill on right. Five minutes to gardens. Especially attractive from mid-Spring with flowering camellias, rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias, cherries. Retrace route to garden entrance at top of hill. Go left and continue along the road. Shortly, great panorama of lake and mountain. After crossing the cattle grid (in fence) take footpath immediately right to great panoramas.
At junction, at bottom of hill, road straight ahead to Killarney Golf Course or go left and follow circular route that leads back to the Cathedral entrance. Alternatively take first right dirt track. After crossing the Deenagh River turn left to walk along the southern shore of the Deenagh back to the Cathedral or go straight ahead through extensive swamp woodland to Ross Castle. Detour along track to Teahouse Point and Reen Point.
Mangerton/Torc Conifer Woods
Starting points - Queen's Drive carpark or Mangerton Scenic Lay Bye. Conifer woodland on the lower stretches of Mangerton and Torc Mountains. Dramatic panoramas of woodland, mountains and lake. The steep track to the Devil's Bit is well rewarded. As well as a huge panorama of wood, mountain and lake, to the east the wild vastness of bare, boggy Mangerton.
To the southwest the great valley between Torc and Mangerton mountains. At a lower level 100m along a fire break to a woodland/mountain/lake panorama. Among the most accessible, dramatic lake panoramas in Killarney are from the trail along the north face of Torc - directly over Muckross Lake, Lough Leane, Upper Lake in the background, Purple and Tomies Mountains to the west/left.
Muckross and Dinis
Ten-mile circuit (walk, cycle or jaunting car).
Begin from the first entrance to National Park, three kms south of Killarney on N71, or from Muckross House & Gardens - access from second entrance 6 kms from town on N71.
From the first entrance - advise walking on footpath/track along lakeshore - along the southern shore of Lough Leane by Muckross Abbey. After Abbey follow Lover's Walk - footpath only - along lake shore. At V junction go right onto Muckross Peninsula. From Muckross House Road directly in front (north). At end of 200m straight road, bear left to Muckross peninsula. After 1 km 'Arthur Young Trail' on right. Through the most extensive natural yew woods in Europe extending over 25 hectares. Great carpets of mosses. Middle Lake, Colleen Bawn Rock (sandy beach). Disused copper mines. Yew, arbutus, holly and oak woods. Views over both lakes.
Middle Lake flows into Lower Lake here. By back channel which runs directly from the Upper Lake into Lower Lake. Dinis Cottage - three lakes meet here. East/left along N71 for one mile to Torc Waterfall on right - particularly good during or after extended heavy rain. Re-enter National Park opposite the entrance to Torc. To Muckross House, or back to first entrance.
Queen's Cottage/Upper Lake
Take the N71 south for 14 kms. Rough unsurfaced road on right (immediately before bad bend). Park by main road. Road through rhododendrons. Immediately beyond footbridge over Galweys River look back along river from high ground to Derrycunnihy Cascade. Queen's Cottage was on this site. [Path to cascade along northern side of river]. Follow path in front of ruined cottage.
Through oak and holly wood - one of the three most extensive areas of natural oakwood in Ireland. Path continues on open marshy mountainside. High points have fine views over the Upper Lake with mountainous backdrop. Along the southern shore of Upper Lake - wellingtons or strong footwear recommended here. To Lord Brandon's Cottage - snack facilities. Retrace steps or follow route through the Gap of Dunloe or to Moll's Gap.
Begin at Ross Castle, walk or cycle. Deciduous woodland, flat, ever changing lake and mountain vistas. Ross Cottage ruins - look through slit - sycamore tree growing on top of wall. To the copper mines - oldest copper mines in North Western Europe. Governor's Rock - headland at Ross Island (great lake/mountain panorama) - native flora very profuse including alder, arbutus, ash, beech, blackthorn, bog myrtle, bramble, broom, buckthorn, burnet rose, common birch, crab apple, dog rose, field rose, fraughan, gorse, guelder, hawthorn, hazel, holly, honeysuckle, Irish spurge, ivy, ling, heather, mountain ash, oak, silver birch, spindle, whitebeam, willow. To Library Point - extensive covering of white flowered wild garlic in spring - unusual shoreline rock formation resembling stacked books - panorama over Lough Leane, O'Donoghue's Prison, Mouse Island to Innisfallen Island and Monastery. Return to Castle.