Welcome to the Killarney National Park Website
South and west of the town of Killarney in Co. Kerry is an expanse of rugged mountainous country. This includes the McGillycuddy's Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland which rise to a height of over 1000 metres. At the foot of these mountains nestle the world famous lakes of Killarney. Here where the mountains sweep down to the lake shores, their lower slopes covered in woodlands, lies the 10,236 hectare (26,000 acres), Killarney National Park . The distinctive combination of mountains, lakes, woods and waterfalls under ever changing skies gives the area a special scenic beauty.
Ross Castle sits on the edge of Killarney's lower lake and was built by O'Donoghue Mór in the 15th century. The Castle came into the hands of the Brownes who became the Earls of Kenmare and owned an extensive portion of the lands that are now part of Killarney National Park . Legend has it that O'Donoghue still exists in a deep slumber under the waters of Lough Leane.
Innisfallen island can be seen in the distance from Ross Castle out beyond the entrance to the bay. A monastery was founded on Innisfallen in the 7th century and it became a seat of learning and is said that King Brian Boru studied there. On the island are the remains of the extensive 12th century Augustinian priory and a small 11th -12th century Romanesque church. The annals of Innisfallen, a major source of early Irish history and now stored in the Bodleian Library in Oxford were written there. Boat trips to the island operate from the Ross Castle area from Ross and Reen piers.