Galway's Bridge to Killarney
Distance: 14.5km | Ascent: 250m | Time: 5hrs
Muckross House, Killarney.
Start: Galway's Bridge (V 9145 8025)
Finish: Killarney Town Centre (V 967 905)
OS Map: No. 78
Setting out from Galway's Bridge, the Kerry Way travels south for around ½km before reaching a split in the trail. The path to Kenmare continues across the valley to the south-west whereas the path to Killarney rises out of the valley to the north-east.
The trail climbs 200m over the next 1½km to the saddle between Cromaglan Mountain and Stumpacommeen. Leaving the gravel road behind, the Kerry Way enters a beautiful oak forest. After crossing Galway's River, the trail rises above the tree line and the unmistakeable ridge-line of the MacGillycuddy Reeks come into view to the north-west.
There is a tricky descent through Esknamucky Glen over the next 1½km. The minature canyon with rocky outcrops is interspersed by trees and can provide slippery conditions when wet. After reaching more open marshy area and crossing the Crinnagh River the Kerry Way rejoins the Old Kenmare Road.
The track gently rises over Crinnagh and allows views to the north-west of Purple Mountain and Tomies Mountain. The 3½km of solid road provides a pleasant walk along the Owengarriff River at the foot of the Mangertons. As the trail nears the foot of Torc Mountain, more day-walkers can be found casually exploring the environs of Killarney.
The Kerry Way once again threads its way through Torc and Mangerton Mountains before descending 200m over the next 1km through a mixed broadleaf forest. After passing the upper carpark at Torc, the trail steeply descends a stone staircase to a viewing platform at the base of Torc Waterfall.
Passing through a tunnel beneath the 'Ring of Kerry', the trail stats a 4km section through Muckross Estate. Tarmac paths make for easing strolling beside Muckross Lake up to Muckross House. The trail then goes down along the lakeshore of Lough Leane. Upon exiting the estate, the trail follows the jarvey's and their horse-traps alongside the N71 into the centre of Killarney for the final 2½km of the Kerry Way.
Prev : Kenmare to Galway's Bridge