Lakes & Mountains of Killarney
Comprising of almost a quarter of the Killarney National Park and some argue, its focal point - are the world renowned Lakes of Killarney.
Famous for their beauty, the three lakes are known as the Upper Lake, Muckross Lake (Middle Lake) and Lough Leane (Lower Lake). Rich in natural and cultural history the lakes provide visitors to the town with endless photo and selfie opportunities and activities to fill your day.
A popular area of the park to visit, is the ‘meeting of the waters’, where all three lakes come together. From this vantage point, the Old Weir Bridge (estimated locally to be over 400 years old) can also be viewed. Due to its setting and location, the Upper Lake (or the smallest of the three) is often muted as being the most breath-taking, set against the backdrop of the rugged mountain scenery of the Black Valley area – definitely a must visit.
Muckross Lake is the deepest of the three lakes, said to be approximately 75 metres (250 feet) deep and located close to where the steeply sloping face of Torc Mountain enters the lake.
Lough Leane or Loch Lein meaning lake of learning, is by far the largest of the three lakes, at approximately 19km², and is also the richest in nutrients.
The lakes of Killarney provide shelter for a variety of wild life.
There are numerous ways to get out and explore the lakes, enjoy a water tour cruise, kayak to Inisfallen Island or head up to ladies view for that spectacular jaw dropping wow moment, when you view the lakes from the viewing area. If fishing is your thing there are many brown trout in the lakes, in addition to an annual run of salmon.
Looking large over the town of Killarney are the equally famous Killarney Mountains. Home to Ireland’s highest mountain – Carrauntoohil, there are endless hikes, trails & mountain ranges to discover during your visit to Kerry’s tourist town. With routes to suit all abilities, ages and experience, each offers exquisite views of the surrounding landscape and beauty.
Torc mountain which is the closest mountain to the Dromhall offers an experience for the whole family or those looking to fill a couple of hours of their day. It is estimated as 1 hour in duration to the top, with steps guiding you all the way to the summit, leading to magnificent views of the three lakes of Killarney, the national park and surrounds – don’t forget the camera!
Mangerton offers a more challenging ascent with a difficult mountain loop trail around a classic corrie lake offering amazing views of Killarney, the Mcgillycuddy Reeks and the Paps. A steep ascent along the mountain track leads to the Devils Punchbowl, an oval shaped lake nestled in the middle of the mountain, & the perfect spot for picnic. This is followed by a tough but worth the views trek to the summit to re-join the track on the other side of the Punchbowl.
Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohill stands at 1,038m, is a challenging but a most rewarding ascent offering breath-taking views of the Iveragh and Dingle peninsulas, the Killarney Valley and on clear day’s hikers can see as far as the Galtees and the Clare coastline.
Carrauntoohill cradles three bowl-shaped valleys, each housing their own lake, to the South is Curragh More, to the East you will find Hag’s Glen and to the West is Coomloughra.
A magnificent steel cross standing at 5 metres was erected in 1976 and is still standing today to greet you as you reach the summit & achieve something special.
The Front Desk team at Dromhall at are happy to provide information on the various other trails, loops and hikes Killarney and its surrounding areas have to offer. We can provide local maps and routes for climbing or hiking guests. Packed lunches can be organized for small or large groups with advance notice. Information on guides, guided hikes, climbs and walking equipment hire or for more information on exploring Killarney during your next visit, please contact our front desk.