Ross Island

Mining Trail

Grade:             Multi-Access

Distance:         3 km

Time:               1.5 hours

Elevation:        10 m

Ross Castle is situated on the eastern shores of Lough Leane, with views of the McGillycuddy Reeks in the background. The Ross Castle carpark is about 2.5km from Killarney town centre at the end of the Ross Road. A booklet on Ross Island Mining Trail is available at the Castle. There are 17 stopping points along the route.

Start from the carpark and continue along the tarred road past Ross Castle on your right. After 50 m turn right off the road and follow the narrow walking trail, which will bring you out a little further along the same tarred road. Turn right and after 800m take the left fork and follow the Copper Mines loop as it skirts the shoreline. After a couple of minutes you will come to another junction, turn left. The trail now begins to loop back towards the start and passes trails branching off to Governor’s Rock and Library Point (See below). You will eventually come to the final fork, which you faced from the other direction earlier, take the left fork and follow the tarred road back to Ross Castle.

Library Point

Grade:             Easy

Distance:         5 km

Time:               2 hours

Elevation:        10 m

Library Point is a limestone rock formation on the shores of Lough Leane, Ross Island.

The trail to Library Point is just over 2 km from Ross Castle via the most direct route. It can be extended to a 5km return trip by including the Copper Mines loop on either the outward or return leg. At Library Point itself, there is a short loop around the headland of the peninsula, as it skirts along some woodland paths high above the lakeshore below.

Library Point is so named because the limestone rock at the water edge has been eroded to form a pattern that resembles books stacked on a shelf.

From here, you can look out across to Innisfallen Island, where there are remains of a 12th century monastery and earlier oratory.

Governor’s Rock

Grade:             Easy

Distance:         4 km return

Time:               1.5 hours

Elevation:        10 m

The Governor’s Rock circuit is a loop of approximately 3km on Ross Island starting and finishing at Ross Castle and passing by the Copper Mines. The circuit can be combined with the Library Point trail to extend the length to over 5km.

Tomies Circuit, including O’Sullivan’s Cascade

Grade:              Strenuous

Distance:          9 km

Time:                3 hours

Elevation:        175 m

A beautiful loop trail through old oak woodlands, which stretch from the slopes of Tomies Mountain (Summit 735m), down to the shore of Lough Leane. After passing through the main entrance gate, take the right fork and follow the high grass road as it gently ascends and contours the slopes of Tomies Mountain. Take the time to enjoy the stunning views of the Lower Lake. After 1.5km cross a bridge and continue for about another kilometre where the road will turn sharply left and begin the return journey. Follow the road as it descends down through Tomies Wood before crossing another bridge. Just after the bridge the road forks; take the right fork and then the signposted steps down to the right to visit O’Sullivan’s Cascade, or the left fork to return to the entrance.