5 Killarney National Park Walks Worth Rambling Along Today

killarney national park walks
Photos via Shutterstock

If you’re in search of walks in Killarney National Park to try today, you’ve landed in the right place.

There are several invigorating Killarney National Park walks on offer that’ll treat you to outstanding scenery and that’ll take you to several historic sites.

The walks in Killarney tend to range from nice and leisurely, like the Circular Walk, to a little more laborious, like the Rosie’s Beach walk.

In the guide below, you’ll find an overview of each of the Killarney National Park walks along with how long they take, where to start them and more.

Note: There are some other excellent walks in Killarney, outside of the park, like the walk up Cardiac Hill and the Torc Mountain walk.

My favourite walks in Killarney National Park

the best killarney walks
Photo by Jan Miko on Shutterstock

I’ve visited Killarney what feels like a million and one times over the years. Usually, as part of a weekend away with friends but often for a weekend of hikes and walks, too. 

The first section of this guide to the best walks in Killarney National Park contains my favourite rambles.

These are pretty handy, which makes them perfect if you spent the previous night tucked away until the early hours in one of the many mighty Killarney pubs.

1. The Circular Walk

Arguably one of the most accessible of the many walks in Killarney, The Circular Walk is just a few moments from Killarney Town and is ideal for all levels of fitness. 

Starting at the thatched-roof Deenagh Lodge and heading along the path that rises up the hill, you’ll be following the signs for Knockreer House.

Once you’re beyond Knockreer House the path soon opens up to the wonderful vista of Lough Leane and the McGillycuddy Reeks standing proudly behind it.

You’ll eventually end up in gentle meadows populated by red deer and Kerry cows before taking a couple of left turns and heading back to Deenagh Lodge. 

The need-to-knows

  • Distance: 3-3.5km 
  • Where it starts: Deenagh Lodge
  • Where it ends: Deenagh Lodge

2. Rosie’s Beach

If you’re in search of beaches near Killarney, the ‘hidden’ Rosie’s Beach is well worth heading out to.

Although often described by locals as a ‘secret beach’ due its peaceful seclusion, the route to get to Rosie’s Beach is actually a pretty easy one. 

Starting from the car park at Muckross House you’ll follow signs for Dinis Cottage for about 1.5km along a lovely woodland trail, before a grassy path opens up on your left-hand side.

Take that path and before you know it, you’ll be in one of the quietest and most beautiful spots in the entire park! Head back the same way to return. 

The need-to-knows

  • Distance: 4.5km
  • Where it starts: Muckross House carpark 
  • Where it ends: Muckross House carpark 

Other Killarney walks worth heading off on

walks in killarney
Photo by LouieLea (Shutterstock)

As you’ve probably gathered by now, many of the best things to do in Killarney involve exploring by foot.

In the next section, you’ll discover several other walks in Killarney National Park that are well worth your time.

1. Knockreer Castlerosse Loop

Another walk that starts at Deenagh Lodge but this time it’s a larger loop that takes in open parkland, golf courses and shaded riverbank paths. 

From Deenagh Lodge, you’ll pass by the Deenagh River and up towards the green playing fields of Knockreer.

You’ll then head up to the Castlerosse Hotel where you’ll get a beautiful vista of the mountains of Mangerton and Torc.

The walk back down goes past the charming Victoria Lodge and covers the same deer-filled ground that’s on the Circular Walk. 

The need-to-knows

  • Distance: 5km
  • Where it starts: Deenagh Lodge
  • Where it ends: Deenagh Lodge

2. Library Point

Take advantage of the secluded woodlands of Ross Island, a lovely area that perhaps gets overlooked by some visitors to Ross Castle.

The Library Point Trail starts at Ross Castle and heads out to the old Copper Mines (said to have had activity for over 4,000 years!).

You’ll then meander through some beautiful woodlands to Governors Rock before heading up to Library Point at the top of the peninsula, with its wonderful views of Innisfallen Island and the distant MacGillycuddy’s Reeks. Following the lakeshore will take you back to Ross Castle.

The need-to-knows

  • Distance – 5km
  • Where it starts: Ross Castle
  • Where it ends: Ross Castle

3. Muckross Abbey Loop

If you’re going to go on a short loop walk, why not take in stunning scenery and some medieval ruins along the way?

A tarred path will take you towards the Muckross Abbey, although you’ll also have the option of rambling closer to the lakeshore (keep your eyes peeled for deer in the meadows on either side of the path!).

Spend some time exploring the abbey ruins before circling around and heading through a small archway to put you back on a slightly different route. 

The need-to-knows

  • Distance: 2.5km
  • Where it starts: The ‘new’ entrance car park (see ‘B’ on map above)
  • Where it ends: The ‘new’ entrance car park (see ‘B’ on map above)

FAQs about the different Killarney walks

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from the best short walks in Killarney to which Killarney walks boast the best scenery.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

What are the best Killarney walks?

Including the area outside of the park itself, I’m a fan of Cardiac Hill, the Torc Mountain walk and then the Muckross Abbey Loop mentioned above.

What are the best short walks in Killarney National Park?

The The Circular Walk and the Muckross Abbey Loop are both under 5km and you can complete them at a leisurely pace, if you fancy.

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