Walking & Hiking

In the oceanic climate of Southwest Ireland with its high humidity and mild winters flourish some of the finest examples of natural floral and faunal communities in Western Europe. To help you appreciate some of these features a number of trails of varying lengths and difficulty are listed below.

Click on the Trails below for more information on walking trails:

 

Grading Levels for Walking Trails

Grade Title Description
Multi-Access Flat smooth trails, suitable for all users including people with reduced mobility, wheelchair users, people with vision impairment, using crutches, with a buggy, with small children, older people and so on. Normal outdoor footwear can be worn.
Easy Generally flat trails with a smooth surface and some gentle slopes or shallow steps. These trails are generally suitable for family groups including children and the elderly. Normal outdoor footwear can be worn.
Moderate These trails may have some climbs and may have an uneven surface where the going is rough underfoot, with some obstacles such as protruding roots, rocks, etc. The routes are appropriate for people with a moderate level of fitness and some walking experience.  Specific outdoor walking footwear and clothing is recommended.
Strenuous These are physically demanding trails, which will typically have some sections with steep climbs for long periods, while the going underfoot can be extremely rough including many obstacles. Suitable for users accustomed to walking on rough ground and with a high level of fitness. Specific outdoor walking footwear and clothing required.
Very Difficult These routes are predominantly in remote upland areas. They will typically include steep slopes and very variable and rough underfoot conditions on sometimes indistinct trails. They may be unmarked so the use of a map and navigational skills will be required. Suitable only for very fit and competent mountain walkers with a high level of experience. Specific outdoor walking footwear and clothing required.

Source: http://www.irishtrails.ie/Sport_Ireland_Trails/Trail_User_Advice/

Walking Advice

Some simple rules to follow that may make all the difference between a joyful or miserable experience.

Clothing:

  1. Dress to suit the changing Irish weather conditions. Be prepared for “four seasons in the one day.”
  2. Layers of clothing are better than one thick garment as they can be peeled off or on to suit conditions. A warm hat and gloves are advisable.
  3. Carry waterproofs, including jacket, trousers and a hat.
  4. Cotton trousers that dry quickly after a shower are better than denims.
  5. Keep a change of clothes for the end of the walk, especially socks.

Footwear:

Strong, waterproof boots with good grip and ankle support are necessary for moderate to very difficult walks. Comfortable walking shoes are fine for multi-access and easy routes.

Backpack:

It is essential to carry enough food and water for your walk. Using a bin liner inside your backpack will ensure your spare clothing stays dry.

General:

  1. Check the weather report the night before walking; https://www.met.ie/ .
  2. Check your walking route and that you have all your gear before leaving.
  3. Avoid high peaks, if bad weather seems imminent.
  4. Let someone know where you are going and your expected time of return. Do not do strenuous or very difficult routes alone.
  5. Most accidents happen when descending or returning from a journey, so always remain vigilant.
  6. Bring a first aid kit.
  7. Remember to take your time and enjoy the scenery; do not rush!

Finally, as you walk along you will see some of the plants, animals and scenery which have made Killarney famous. Many more people will walk here after you, so do not pick any flowers or collect any other specimens and please don’t litter; leave the Park as it is for others to enjoy. Dogs are permitted on all trails, but must be kept under control at all times. Take only pictures and ‘Leave No Trace’.

Ordnance Survey Map No:                                     Discovery Series Sheet 78 and National Park Series.

Feedback or report incidents/issues to:                  sean.forde@chg.gov.ie

Emergency (Police, Fire, Ambulance):                    999/112

Duty Ranger:                                                            +353 64 6635215 (Between 9am & 5pm)

Visitor Information Available at:                               Killarney House and Muckross House

Information on walks in the Muckross/Torc area is available at Killarney National Park Walks at Discover Ireland.ie.

Staff from Killarney National Park Education Centre are available to lead groups on guided walks within the National Park. If you would like to book a guided walk please contact the Education Centre on +353 64 6635960 or email knpeducationcentre@ahg.gov.ie.

For further information please phone +353 64 6635215 or email killarneynp@ahg.gov.ie.