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Torc Mountain Walk: Long + Short Trail With Maps

Torc Mountain Walk: Long + Short Trail With Maps

So, there are three main ways of doing the Torc Mountain walk, depending on 1, how long of a hike you want and 2, if you have a car.

If you’re walking from Killarney, you’ve a lengthy 18km walk ahead that’ll take you up the steps at Torc Waterfall.

If you’re driving, you have two options:

    1. The long Torc Mountain hike: A tough 14km 4-5 hour trail starting just off the N71
    2. The short Torc Mountain Walk: A moderate 7.2km 2-2.5 hour trail starting in a car park off the Old Kenmare Road

Some quick need-to-knows about the Torc Mountain walks

Torc waterfall walk

Photos via Shutterstock

You’ll need to get your head around the different trail options here before deciding which suits best. There’s some key info below and you’ll find maps for each trail further on.

1. Location

Torc Mountain can be found a short, 7km from the centre of Killarney Town. It’s a 25-minute drive and roughly a 35-minute cycle from the town.

2. The short trail

The short Torc Mountain walk starts from a car park off the Old Kenmare Road. It is a liner trail that measures 3.6km each way. It is moderately difficult and takes between 2-2.5 hours to complete.

3. The longer trail

The long Torc Mountain hike starts from a car park off the N71 road and follows a large section of the Cardiac Hill walk. However, it then turns and makes its way to the summit of Torc. It measures 14km and takes 4-5 hours.

4. The trail from Killarney Town

If you aren’t driving or if you fancy a long trek staring in Killarney Town, you need to aim for Torc Waterfall. You can start the trail from the steps to the left of the falls. It is a minimum of 18km and will take 6 hours+.

The shorter Torc Mountain walk

The beauty of the shorter, 7.2km Torc Mountain trail is how easy it is to follow. Aim for this car park off the Old Kenmare Road – the trail kicks-off from there.

The first section of the trail takes you along an old forest track – continue for 1.7km and that’s when you’ll reach the start of the real ascent.

The trail will move from stone to boardwalk after a while and you’ll soon reach the summit. On a clear day you’ll be able to see as far out as the Dingle Peninsula.

The long Torc Mountain hike

The second Torc Mountain trail (14km/4-5 hours) begins from this car park off the N71. You’ll need to carefully cross the road to the start of the trail.

This follows the Cardiac Hill trail until it reaches a little ‘junction’ where you’ll turn off towards the trail that leads to Torc’s summit.

From the summit, you’ll need to retrace your steps and then head down past Torc Waterfall and back to the car park.

The trail from Killarney

If you’re not driving or if you fancy a long trail, the walk from Killarney Town is around 18km and will take 6+ hours.

You’ll make you’re way through Killarney National Park and head for Torc Waterfall. Make your way up the steps to the left of the falls and you’ll see the trail towards Torc summit.

This is a long walk. To cut it down a bit, you could rent a bike, lock it across the road from Torc Waterfall (by the toilets) and start the trail there.

Things to do after the Torc hike

best things to do in Killarney Ireland

If you fancy a feed after the Torc Mountain hike, there are some great restaurants in Killarney to nip into for a post-hike-bite (Bricín Restaurant, Porterhouse and Murphy Brownes are 3 good options!).

Or, if you fancy tackling some of the other things to do in Killarney, here are some suggestions:

  1. Other walking trails: The like of the Carrauntoohil hike, the Gap of Dunloe trail and the Killarney National Park walks are good options
  2. The Ring of Kerry: You can kick-off the scenic drive or cycle right from the town
  3. Things to do in Killarney: The likes of Ladies ViewMoll’s Gap, Muckross House, Muckross Abbey and the Black Valley are nearby

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Peter Morley

Wednesday 7th of September 2022

There are still no signs from the car park to the start of the Torc Mountain walk. The directions on this website are very good and will get you there. However, when you get to the junction and turn left the sign to Torc Mountain is 20 minutes later rather than "soon after". The walk is then very well marked and very enjoyable. There are great views at the top of the Killarney lakes. It took us about 2 hours for the round trip and walking shoes are fine for this walk.

Don't bother going to the Torc waterfall as it is very touristy and disappointing.

noreen johnson

Friday 18th of March 2022

This site is accurate in description and detail which is what is needed when planning a hike. Torc was wonderful 2 hours up I hour back with breaks to enjoy the fabulous scenery. Tough in places but well worth it. Senior average fit hikers!!

Keith O'Hara

Saturday 19th of March 2022

Cheers Noreen. Glad you found it useful!

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