Hidden in the mossy forest is a sight that can refresh any weary hiker, where fresh waters hurtle over stones, sheltered by a leafy canopy.
Follow the sounds of the rushing stream and reach a forest clearing to find Torc Waterfall. Here the fresh, clear water of the Owengarriff River crashes over ancient rocks, sending spray up into the cool air. The waterfall is over 65 feet (20 meters) high. After rainfall, which is frequent in this area, it is even more impressive. Stand, watch and be mesmerized by the rushing water passing through a narrow rocky gap between leafy green.
Climb the staircase at Torc Waterfall to see a wider view of Middle Lake. Leave the waterfall and climb higher to the top of Torc Mountain. Follow the hiking trail to the mountain summit, with a stunning view over the area and the wider Killarney National Park. The mountain is 1,755 feet (535 meters) tall. Its name is Irish for boar, related to the legend of a magical boar killed by the mythical Irish hero Finn McCool.
Tradition is important in Ireland. Follow local tradition to include Torc Waterfall on a lengthy walking journey around the 125-mile (200-kilometer) Kerry Way, where you’ll discover many gorgeous sights. Most people complete the trip in 9 days. However, it’s not necessary to walk for days to enjoy the waterfall. Alternatively, walk the shorter Muckross Lake Loop.
Torc Waterfall is about 4.4 miles (7 kilometers) from the Killarney town center, close to the entrance to Muckross House, also in Killarney National Park. Alternatively, drive or ride in a horse-drawn jaunt car from the town to the parking lot and walk about 1,000 yards (300 meters) to the falls. Select from numerous trails, with graded hiking trails providing a way to the top of the mountain. On your way, watch for wild deer hiding in the forest. Torc Waterfall’s beauty is well known, so get here early to find the best photo spots and be able to enjoy the natural sounds of the water and the forest before others arrive.