Killarney National Park
Killarney National Park, Ireland’s oldest National Park is located in Killarney, all the while adjacent to the town. Killarney is also Ireland’s Oldest National Park, formed in 1932 when Senator Arthur Vincent and his family entrusted Muckross House & Estate into the care of the Irish State. Now the focal point for many visitors to Killarney, Muckross House & Gardens has been entertaining as a 19th century mansion, containing all original pieces of furniture, artwork, trophies and many other furnishings from that period.
The extent of the park’s range and rugged landscape is 26,000 acres, encompassing the infamous McGillycuddy Reeks Mountain Range which includes Ireland’s highest Mountain, Carrauntoohill standing at over 1,000 meters. These mountains have known millions of footsteps over the years; other famous mountains include Torc (Waterfall), Mangerton, Purple and Tomies Woodland along with endless exploring of looped and park walks. Nestled within the woodlands and at the foot of these glorious mountains are the three world famous Killarney Lakes; Upper, Muckross and Lough Leane. The lakes, woodlands, waterfalls and living history are the ingredients that make Killarney National Park so unique, particularly when coupled with the ever changing light and skies that share in Killarney’s breath-taking scenery.
Killarney National Park was deemed a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1981 due to the quality and high ecological diversity, extensive habitats and range of species found that in the park, some of which are quite rare. From an ecological perspective, the most important feature from a National and International perspective is the preservation of the native oak and yew woodlands as well as the evergreen trees, shrubs and lichens that thrive under Killarney’s climate. Along with housing the largest stretch of native woodland remaining in Ireland, Killarney National Park is also home to the only herd of native red deer. The red deer are believed to have a presence in Killarney, Ireland since the last ice age. In 1865, Sika deer were introduced from Japan; since their inception the group has increased considerably in size and reside throughout the National Park.
The Park is widely used for recreational activates; crowned as Ireland’s adventure capital there are plenty of thrilling sporting options to satisfy your appetite; trail running across Ireland’s most scenic mountain trails, climbing Ireland’s highest Mountain Carrauntoohill, canyoning etc. For the lesser octane souls, there are many enjoyable activities such as boat trips on the lakes and Innisfallen Island, beautiful leisurely walks, ideal family locations for picnics, cycling, discovering the nature trails and a lot more exploring.
Killarney National Park, Killarney, Co. Kerry.