Many people assume that viewing the magnificent red deer of Killarney National Park means a trek into the wilds armed with high tech cameras and a survival kit. Heading off the beaten track is often the best way to observe the deer in their natural habitat. Here we will identify where there are also some great spots to view the deer just 10-15 minutes walk from the town. There are even some areas where you can view the deer without leaving your car.
Enter the National Park just across the road from St. Mary’s Cathedral. You can park nearby and cross the Deenagh River to begin a short walk or cycle to where you are likely to spot the deer. At the entrance, you will find the thatched Deenagh Lodge cottage. You can continue straight on or turn right at this point. Turning right will lead you up a slightly hilly section so if you’re feeling less energetic, continue straight on along the path. Continue down the hill and turn right over a cattle grid. This circular route continues and you can follow it all the way back to the Deenagh Lodge if you wish. If you have started by going right (up the hill) at the lodge, you will be on this circular route in the opposite direction.
On the map below are 4 areas where you are most likely to see the red deer within this part of the Park. It is almost guaranteed that you will see them here but keep your eyes and ears open. They are sometime very well camouflaged and you may well miss them even when they are quite close to you near the path.
If you are visiting the park during the deer rutting season (late September / early October), please be vigilant as the stags are quite active and you should give them a wide berth should you have a close encounter.
If taking in some fresh air is not on the agenda, there are a couple of areas where you have a great chance of seeing the deer from the comforts of your own car. At worst, you may have to park and walk a few metres to get a closer look. Head out of the town towards Muckross House & Gardens. Just a few short kilometres later, you should be able to get a good view of the deer at these points.
This site also has some similar tips about where’s a good place to spot the deer up close. So now there’s no excuse for not being able to get a good look at the magnificent red deer of Killarney National Park.