Muckross and Dinis

Lakeside Walk; Main Entrance to Muckross House

Grade:              Easy

Distance:          5 kilometres (km) return

Time:                1.5 hour

Ascent:             10 metres (m)

From Killarney on the N71 to Kenmare, a car park is situated directly across the road from the gated entrance to Killarney National Park; still known to some locals as the “new entrance”, despite being over 150 years old (Jaunting car entrance to Park).

Walk through the main gate and just past the gate lodge on the right is the start of the Lakeside Walk. You can follow the rough meandering trail as it skirts the Lough Leane all the way to Muckross House, with the option to explore Muckross Abbey on route.

Arthur Young’s Walk (Est. 1776)

Grade:             Moderate

Distance:         5.6 km (From Muckross House)

Time:               2 hours

Ascent:            10 m

This walk skirts Muckross Peninsula, which is between Lough Leane and Muckross Lake. The Walk traverses a fault line between limestone (Carboniferous period 280-345 million years ago) and old red sandstone substrates (Devonian 345-395 million years ago). As a consequence, the vegetation transitions from Yew woodland on limestone outcrop to Oak woods on old red sandstone.

Start at the Muckross House front door opposite the jaunting cars; follow the road towards Torc from the front of the House for about 500m. On a bend in the road is the beginning of the walk, indicated by the stone marker. Walk through the turnstile, cross the open field and through the Woodland. When you meet the tarred Dinis Road, turn left and stay on it for about 2.5km where you turn right down a signposted trail. Continue along this meandering trail through oak woodland, an open meadow and then the famous Reenadinna Yew Wood (One of only three in Europe). After about 1.5km you eventually meet the tarred road again.

In 1776, the travel writer Arthur Young returned to Muckross House along the shores of Muckross Lake. To follow in his footsteps, turn right and after 100m on the tarred road, turn left, marked by a stone number ‘5’ plaque. Alternatively, turn left when you first meet the tarred road and follow the signs back to Muckross House.

Mossy Woods

Grade:             Moderate

Distance:         2 km

Time:               45 minutes

Ascent:           10 m

Start at the Muckross House front door opposite the jaunting cars; follow the road towards Torc from the front of the House, continue around the bend in the road (Marking the beginning of Arthur Young’s Walk) and after 100m you will come to a path on the right by Muckross Lake; this is the beginning of the Mossy Woods Walk. It takes in the southern part of the Muckross Peninsula and can be quite rough under foot. It is composed of Carboniferous limestone and supports an area of natural Yew wood, Scots Pine, Strawberry trees (Arbutus unedo), mosses and ferns, among many others.

Continue along this path as it skirts Muckross Lake. Take the left fork after 200m and continue to follow the lakeshore. After a little over a km you meet the tarred Dinis Road. Turn right and follow for the tarred road; the terrain will open up, with Bog Myrtle on your right and swampy Alder trees on the left. After 500m, turn right down a narrow trail and right again after 20m up some rough steps. Turn left when you reach a ‘T’ junction and this will return you to Muckross House.

Dinis Cottage; Old Weir Bridge and adjacent trails

Grade:             Moderate

Distance:         1 km

Time:               45 minutes

Ascent:            10 m

Dinis Cottage lies on the western side of Muckross Lake. It can be reached by following the Dinis Road, which is signposted from Muckross House (5km). Arthur Young’s and the Mossy Woods Walks will bring you further along this same road. Note- this is the only direction cyclists can ride to Dinis.

Dinis Cottage can also be reached by car via the N71 Killarney to Kenmare, parking at the Dinis carpark, then walking 1.5km down to the Cottage along a tarmac road (Multi-access Grade).

Warning; this is a popular cycling route, so beware of oncoming bikes.

OR: It is also possible to travel to Dinis Cottage by boat, leaving from Muckross (Dundag) or Ross Castle. Boats also go on to Lord Brandon’s Cottage too (these trips can be organised at these locations or online).

Around the Cottage there are various trails taking you to the Old Weir Bridge and the ‘Meeting of the Waters’. The Old Weir Bridge is one of Killarney’s oldest structures and it has seen thousands of visitors pass over and under its famous arches for centuries.

Warning; the start of the trail can often be flooded after heavy rain when the lake becomes high. The boardwalk on the trail can also become slippery when wet- so please be careful!

Old Boathouse Trail

Grade:             Easy

Distance:         1 km

Time:               45 minutes

Ascent:            10 m

This trail begins a little further along the road to Torc from the Mossy Woods and is also signposted on a stone marker. It skirts the rocky promontory known as Dundag Point, composed of Carboniferous limestone, which supports an area of natural Yew wood. At Dundag Point, there is a panoramic view of the mountains bounding Killarney’s lakes to the south and west. A little further along is the secluded Dundag Beach, lined with Scots Pine and often visited by the locals during the summer months.

The Boathouse is also the location where visitors can hire a boat to explore the lakes.

Dundag to Torc path

Grade:             Multi-Access

Distance:         2.5 km return

Time:               45 minutes

Ascent:            30 m

This path can be reached by crossing over the road opposite the beginning of the Old Boathouse Trail, and continuing along the walking trail south to Torc. Most of the path takes in views of Muckross Lake and open Torc fields, often with Red Deer. This route ends near the famous Torc Waterfall.

As an alternative to returning the same way, take to road north skirting the other side of the Torc fields to the N71 and beyond the barrier, turn left along the ‘Ice House Hill path’- 500m (Not signposted), back to Muckross House.

Note: ‘Ice House Hill path’ can be rough and muddy; Easy Grade.