South and West of the town of Killarney is the world famous Killarney National Park and Lakes of Killarney. The park totals 10,236 hectares - comprising the Upper, Middle & Lower Lakes surrounded by mountains and woodlands. The Park is an area of outstanding beauty and includes the peaks of Mangerton - Torc - Shehy and to the west of the park are the MacGillycuddys Reeks - the highest mountain range in Ireland. Killarney National park is the largest national park in Ireland.
There are numerous Historical buildings within Killarney National Park:
This nineteenth century Victorian mansion is set against the stunning beauty of Killarney National Park. The house stands close to the shores of Muckross Lake, one of Killarney's three lakes, famed world wide for their splendour and beauty. As a focal point within Killarney National Park, Muckross House is the ideal base from which to explore this landscape
Ross Castle sits on the edge of Killarney's lower lake and was built by O'Donoghue Mór in the 15th century. Innisfallen island can be seen in the distance from Ross Castle out beyond the entrance to the bay. A monastery was founded on Innisfallen in the 7th century and it became a seat of learning and it said that King Brian Boru studied there. On the island are the remains of the extensive 12th century Augustinian priory and a small 11th -12th century Romanesque church. The annals of Innisfallen, a major source of early Irish history and now stored in the Bodleian Library in Oxford were written there. Boat trips to the island operate from the Ross Castle area from Ross and Reen piers.
Torc Waterfall is approximately 7 kilometres from Killarney Town and approx 2.5 kilometres from the motor entrance to Muckross House and can be accessed from a car park on the N71 better known as the Killarney – Kenmare road. A short walk of approx 300 metres brings you to the waterfall. From that point steps lead to another viewing point at a higher altitude that provides a view over the Middle Lake. The path is also part of the Kerry Way long distance walking route and a starting point for circular walking routes which are indicated by a map down at the start of the trail beside the car park. The waterfall which is approximately 20 metres high is at its best after heavy rainfall. Across the road from the car park jaunting cars can be hired for a trip to Muckross House within the National Park.