Hiking in Killarney National Park
Killarney Travel Blog› entry 7 of 8 › view all entries
Now I had promised my self 2 hikes while in Ireland, and time was running out. I had not intended to do 2 hikes back to back...but you take what you can get. After a long (but interesting) bus ride from Kinsale to Killarney I decided I needed to stretch my legs a bit. We arrived at the hotel in Killarney, and while waiting for my bag to be delivered to my room I fell into a conversation with the very nice young woman that was working the front desk at the hotel. She was hit pretty hard by all 100 of us checking in, but she took the time to talk to me. I told her that I was interested in hiking somewhere nearby and she directed me to the National Park that started just across the street.
As I crossed the street, I noticed the jaunting carts that would be taking us for a tour the next morning (in the same park I was now headed to). Cute was the word that came to mind when I saw them. I dodged the traffic and crossed the street and found the entry to the park. Now this is called a National Park, but for us Americans it is more like Central Park in New York. I entered the park thru a large wall, and walked past some sort of building. The path was hardtop at first and then a hard packed gravel. The path ran along side a roadway for the first few hundred yards and then merged with the roadway.
The park was created by the donation of the Muckross Estate in 1932. It was the first national park created in Ireland and has been expanded as other estates donated land. It currently covers approx 25,500 acres. As I found on my hike, there is a great variety of different types of terrain in the park. The park is also the home to the only native herd of Red Deer in Ireland. (I did not see any deer on my hike, but I did see some of them the next day).
I hiked along the stream for a while, and then the trail took another turn and headed into a combination of bog and woodlands.
I finished my exploration of the castle grounds as the sun was slowly setting. There was a bit of a breeze kicking up, and all I had on was a fleece sweater, so I decided it was time to start back. The hike back through the woodlands was just as enjoyable. But this is were drinking water when you are hiking is a bad thing. Suddenly I had to pee like a race horse (or would that be a jaunting cart pony). And would you know it, now there were people on the trails jogging. I thought I would bust a kidney before I would get back to the hotel. Luckily there was a short time when I had the forest all to myself lone enough to warm up the bog with a bit of San Diego sunshine :)
I was headed back and decided I would check out the thatched cottage I had spied earlier.