15 Feb 2021
Ireland’s spectacular Killarney National Park has become a sister park to majestic Glacier National Park in Montana, USA.
Killarney National Park in scenic County Kerry has become the first Irish national park to join the USA’s Sister Parks Program having been paired with Glacier National Park in Montana.
The pairing will allow for the exchange of ideas about how best to manage the amenities in respect of key issues such as visitor numbers, controlling exotic and invasive species, working with local communities and ecological monitoring.
Killarney National Park is a stunning tapestry of mountains, woods, waterfalls and the world-famous lakes. It is home to the McGillycuddy’s Reeks – Ireland’s highest mountain range – as well as internationally important flora and fauna including native oak woods and red deer.
Within the park sits nineteenth-century Muckross House and Gardens, a great place to begin a visit to the national park and discover a little of the region’s history.
Killarney National Park is one of six national parks in Ireland. Five of them are located in the dramatic landscape of the island’s rugged west, while the sixth lies in the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East.
Connemara National Park, County Galway
In County Donegal in the north-west sits magnificent Glenveagh National Park. At its heart is tranquil Lough Veagh and the gorgeous Glenveagh Castle and gardens dotted with exotic and delicate plants from as far afield as Chile, Madeira and Tasmania.
For a walk on the wild side, Ballycroy National Park should be the destination. Located on the western seaboard in north-west County Mayo, it’s an unspoilt expanse of Atlantic blanket bog and mountainous terrain overlooked by the Nephin Beg mountain range, Ireland’s first designated wilderness area.
Connemara National Park encompasses the beauty of one of Ireland’s most loved landscapes. A mix of mountains, bogs, heaths, grasslands and forests in County Galway, the park encloses fascinating 4,000-year-old megalithic court tombs and is also known for its diversity of bird life.
The unique, lunar-like landscape of The Burren is the star of the Burren National Park in County Clare. The exposed limestone pavement is the dominant feature but there is an abundance and wide variety of flowers in the rock’s cracks and crannies and it is a favourite spot for hikers.
The sixth park is Wicklow National Park, to be found in the mountains in Ireland’s south-east. As well as stunning natural beauty, the park is the location of the extensive ruins of a monastic site at Glendalough. Dating from the sixth century, the site is known as one of the most magical in Ireland.
Ballycroy National Park, County Mayo
Wicklow National Park, Glendalough, County Wicklow
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