If you’re a bit sick of the crowds around Muckross House or you want to avoid the throngs of people that engulf Ross Castle on a busy day, you should nip down to the Copper Mines.
The Copper Mines are one of Killarney’s best kept secrets. They’re nestled in the bosom of a dense, deciduous forest that seems very removed from the usual hustle and bustle of Killarney. They’re only a short distance from Ross Castle however so you should have no problems finding them.
There are two things that make the copper mines special. Firstly, the history. I guess you’re wondering why these mines exist? Well there’s lots of copper under the ground around Killarney’s lakes, apparently. And people have made various attempts to extract said copper for around 3000 years. A more formal attempt was made at the beginning of the 19th century and mining shafts and mining huts were built which you can still see today. This project was quickly abandoned however as the shafts kept flooding. The dangers of mining next to a lake, I guess. You can find out more about the history if you visit the mines for there’s signs and displays by the mines themselves describing the mines’ bumpy past.
Secondly, the scenery. I mean, Killarney is exactly lacking in the area of scenery but for my money, the area in and around the copper mines has some of the best and most unspoilt views Killarney National Park has to offer.
Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself.
So if you do feel like strolling down to the mines, head to Ross Castle and just follow the signs.