MAP: OS of Ireland 1:50,000 Discovery 78; Muckross Estate map from Killarney National Park visitor centre, Muckross House.
Muckross Lake Loop Walk
From Salmon Leap Farm B&B take the N22 to Glenflesk (7km) and turn left on L3015 to Muckross.
Rail (www.irishrail. ie) to Killarney; jaunting car (haggle your price) or bus (www.buseireann.ie) to Muckross. Road: N71 from Killarney towards Kenmare; Muckross House signed on right in three miles. Free car park.
WALK DIRECTIONS: Leaving Muckross House, ahead along avenue; left in 250 yards (‘Dinis Cottage’). Follow track for 2½ miles around Muckross Lake to Dinis Cottage tearooms. (Meeting of the Waters: down steps beyond lavatory block.) Continue along surfaced track for ¾ mile to N71 Killarney-Kenmare road. Bear right to cross (take care!); follow gravel track (yellow, blue, red trail arrows; ‘Muckross House’ fingerpost). In ½ mile descend to road.
(A) Return to Muckross House: Cross road, follow path (‘Muckross House’).
(B) For Torc Waterfall (steep up and down, many steps!): Don’t cross road, but bear uphill (ignore ‘Torc Waterfall’ arrow pointing other way) on good path, steep in parts. Path zigzags, then levels out; take left fork (coloured arrows here point back the way you’ve come)
to cross Owengarriff River. In 25 yards, left (ignore arrows and ‘Kerry Way’ sign), following path directly above right (east) bank of river. Path soon slopes and steepens down steps to Torc Waterfall. Continue down path to cross N71. Through gap in fence; left along path; in 50 yards, right (‘Muckross House 1.8 km’) to return to car park.
LENGTH: 5½ miles around Muckross Lake (easy; allow 2 hours); 7 miles including Torc Waterfall (moderate; allow 3-4 hours).
CONDITIONS: Well-surfaced paths. Torc Waterfall extension: steep ascent, steep descent with many steps. Dog-friendly (on leads, please).
DON’T MISS: Lake views from north side; window graffiti in Dinas Cottage; Torc waterfall.
REFRESHMENTS: Dinis Cottage tea room, Muckross House restaurant/café (064 6631440).
Salmon Leap Farm, Glenflesk, Killarney: 064 7753005; Muckross House: 064 667 0144; http://www.muckross-house.ie. National Parks: http://www.npws.ie. Tourist Information Office, Beech Road, Killarney (064 6631633)