We left Kilkenny excited for the next town on our itinerary. Our first stop into the Killarney area was Killarney National Park. We enjoy visiting US National Parks and like to see national parks in other countries as well.
The traffic around the Killarney area was the worst traffic of our trip. There seemed to be a lot of construction. The weather was a little gloomy and disappointing. We knew to expect more bus crowds around the Ring of Kerry, and definitely saw them.
Fortunately, Killarney National Park did not disappoint. At the suggestion of several friends, we took a walk to Torc Waterfall. It was very beautiful, although I couldn’t help but think it would be more stunning with sunlight dappling through the leaves. Maybe I was a bit grumpy that morning. Still, the weather held enough that we were able to walk both ways and avoid the cost of a jaunting ride.
We opted for one of the moderate trails (yellow and blue are easier) and avoided the Torc steps. My dad had fallen in Iceland two years prior and needed surgery on his shoulder. We weren’t keen on setting him up for a situation to fall again. With the wet weather, the steps looked slippery and treacherous. We still enjoyed the falls without the frightening climb.
On the way back the clouds parted enough that we were able to enjoy some blue sky and relaxing views over the lake. While it was still chilly at the beginning of April, signs of spring were definitely there.
Although Muckross House was on our list of possibilities, the girls were in no mood for a house tour. My parents also didn’t seem too interested, so we decided to pass this time around. We did want to visit Muckross Farm, but it was closed due to muddy conditions.
We spent a few hours at the national park, mainly on the walk to and from Torc Waterfall. We barely scratched the surface, but unfortunately the large amount of rain the region had received in the days prior to our visit made conditions of some areas prohibitive.
Before we headed out of the park, we visited Dunloe Gap. We would explore this area a bit more the next day, so just took a quick look (and again turned down the jaunting ride…although after we got back I’m really glad we did.
There was no cost to enter the park, and we ended up not visiting taking the house tour. This kept our morning low-cost yet fun. I left feeling there was so much more to see. But my husband was eager to get to the Dingle peninsula to surf. Honestly, the girls were also ready to leave, so I’m not sure how much more time I could have squeezed in the park. Overall a large and beautiful national park, but one we will need to take more time exploring!