Mass Path; Derrycunnihy Church to Lord Brandon’s Cottage.
Distance: 4 km one way
Time: 1.5 hours
Elevation: 80 m
Situated approximately 12km south of Killarney town on the main N71 Kenmare Road, Derrycunnihy Church is located near a bridge that crosses the Galway River. The trail forms part of the Kerry Way long distance walking route. The start is across the road from the carpark, where the wooden steps and boardwalk descend into the woodland below. The path meanders its way down through oak woodlands, crossing some streams along the way. As you continue to descend, watch out for some abandoned ruins on your right amidst the woodland. At this point turn left onto the broader track which is the main trail to Lord Brandon’s Cottage (or the Mass Path as it is also known). Alternatively, turn right if you want to see Derrycunnihy Cascade. After a few hundred metres, you will arrive at the viewing point for the Cascade. If you decide to turn left towards Lord Brandon’s, you can look forward to mountain views, while following the shores of the Upper Lake. Look out for glimpses of the elusive White Tailed Sea Eagle. During summer, there is a cafe at Lord Brandon’s serving refreshments. It is possible to return to Killarney (Ross Castle) via boat from here.
Warning; this route is for walkers only as it is rough underfoot and prone to flooding in the winter.
Distance: 3 km
Time: 1 hour
Ascent: 50 m
On the main N71 Killarney to Kenmare Road, take the left turn immediately after the entrance to the Muckross Park Hotel. After about 200m, is the entrance to the Blue Pool Nature Trails; there is some room for parking. Be careful not to block the entrance. You may also be able to park on the other side of the road opposite the entrance. As you park, have a look across the road, as there’s a good chance you’ll spot native Red Deer.
From the parking area, continue along the Mangerton Road for another couple of hundred metres until the road takes a sharp left. At this bend in the road, you will see a minor road heading into the trees on the right hand side. There is a sign saying ‘pedestrian access only’. This is the entry point of the Queens Drive. Continue through the barrier and take the left fork up the track. At the next junction, take the right fork and descend the hill. At the bottom take the right turn which will return you to the start. This is a woodland trail, which is occasionally muddy in parts.