Torc Mountain – Killarney, Co. Kerry – 9km/425m climb

By Fred Verdier – Oct 2017

I love going to Killarney!  Killarney is the tourism capital of Ireland sitting at the foothills of stunning mountains (the highest in Ireland!).  There is always a great buzz in this town that is totally devoted to the many tourists that come from all over the world.  A great place for trail running tourism!

I attended a conference late October, and organised myself to arrive a bit earlier from Dublin and fit an afternoon run up Torc Mountain, just outside Killarney.

I took the earliest train from Dublin Heuston Station at 7am and arrived at 1o:30am in Killarney (purchase ticket online for cheaper ticket prices at  I had scheduled a late morning business meeting, and once completed, I walked to my hotel to have a bite to eat and get changed.

My plan was to climb/run Torc Mountain as it is very close to Killarney.  I thought about taking a taxi to Torc Waterfall (start of the climb), but bumped into a bike rental on Muckross Road, and for €15 I had a bike for the afternoon.

The cycle to Torc Waterfall is lovely through parts of the Killarney National Park, along the shores of Lough Leane and passed Muckross House.  Fifteen minutes later, the bike was locked and I was ready to climb.

The Route:

Pass the busy/popular Torc Waterfall and follow the Kerry Way.  The initial climb is rather steep through dense native woodlands.  The trail then joins the old Kenmare road (forestry gravel road) that gently goes up the valley.  The junction with the path up Torc Mountain is well marked on the right.  The climb to Torc is steep and longer than expected up a narrow path where many parts are on board walk.  The rocky summit offers fantastic views over the Kerry Mountains, the National Park, various lakes, the town of Killarney and the plains to the East.


  • Distance: 9km
  • Total ascent:  425m
  • Max Elevation:  535m
  • GPS Start:  52.005832, -9.506835



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