Torc Mountain Walk is one of Killarney National Park’s most-loved walking trails; read on to learn all you need to know when planning your visit.
Killarney National Park is a jewel of Ireland’s west and the Torc Mountain hike is a must for any outdoors adventurers.
Located in County Kerry – the ‘Kingdom of Ireland’ – the region is ripe with dramatic scenery, native flora and fauna, and breathtaking backdrops fit for a postcard.
For those keen to explore the region, one of its greatest attractions is the Torc Mountain walk. Set in one of Ireland’s most impressive parklands, it is safe to say this will be an experience not soon forgotten.
Basic overview – all you need to know
- Route: Torc Mountain Walk
- Distance: 7.1 km (4.4 mi)
- Start / End Point: Upper Torc Mountain Car Park
- Parking: Upper Torc Mountain Car Park
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Duration: 2-2.5 hours
Overview – the essential info
Torc Mountain is a peak that stands at 1,755 feet (535 metres). It is the 329th highest peak in Ireland. A popular addition to any Killarney National Park itinerary, the Torc Mountain hike is suitable for moderately fit adults and children alike.
The route offers boarded or stoned foundations along the way, and on reaching its summit, you’ll be greeted with remarkable views over the Lakes of Killarney and surrounding areas.
When to visit – avoid high summer for the best experience
Although high summer offers the chance of the warmest weather, it also attracts crowds of tourists.
If you’re keen to experience the serene beauty of Killarney National Park along the Torc Mountain walk, then try to visit during late spring or early autumn.
During these times the weather can still be somewhat forgiving, and there’ll be less footfall to reckon with.
Directions – how to get there
The Torc Mountain hike is an out and back route that begins and ends at the Upper Torc Mountain Car Park (also known as the Killarney Hiking Parking Lot).
If you’re travelling by car from Killarney, this is just a short 15-minute drive.
Things to know – insider knowledge
Along the way, make sure to take time to enjoy the blossoming wildflowers. Bird watching is also popular in this area, so bring a pair of binoculars if this sounds to your liking.
On the Torc Mountain walk, you will encounter the Owengarriff river, as well as impressive views of Killarney town and surrounding lakelands, the McGillicuddy’s Reeks (Ireland’s tallest mountain range) and Muckross House.
How long is the experience – from beginning to finish
Hikers can expect to complete this route in 2-2.5 hours. However, if you’re walking with the kids in tow, this route is likely to take approximately 3.5 hours.
What to bring – the essentials
There are no facilities along this route, so make sure to bring any essential supplies with you. We always recommend water and snacks as well as sunscreen on sunny days.
A rainjacket and durable, waterproof walking shoes are a must. For those looking to document the journey, a camera is advisable.
What’s nearby – while you’re there
There are tonnes of things to do in the surrounding Killarney National Park. We suggest you visit Muckross House or swing by Killarney village, which is buzzing with local life, artisan shops, and charming pubs and restaurants.
Where to eat – for a post-hike feed
The Muckross Garden Restaurant is ideal if you’re looking for a dining option in the park surroundings. Alternatively, after you finish your Torc Mountain hike, head to Killarney town where the options are endless.
Bricín Restaurant and Boxty House is a popular Irish family restaurant for a good feed, but if you’re looking for an authentic pub setting, head over to Murphy’s Bar.
Where to stay – for a good night’s rest
Those seeking bang for their buck should check out the three-star Gleneagle Hotel & Apartments, conveniently located half-way between the National Park and Killarney Town.
The Great Southern Killarney is a charming four-star hotel located in the town centre which offers style and substance. Alternatively, the five-star Killarney Park Hotel is ideal for those seeking a luxurious slumber after their Torc Mountain hike.