Glenveagh National Park in the northwest of Donegal has views of the peaks of the region's two largest mountains: Errigal and Slieve Snaght. Hike over rolling hills while checking out the largest herd of red deer in Ireland. Mosses and ferns dot the landscape as badgers and foxes scurry past. Guided nature trails are available in the summer for those who would like more information about this incredible area.
Killarney National Park is south and west to the town of Killarney. This park is the home to the largest natural woodlands in Ireland. Large sessile oak dominate the Atlantic Valley while smaller wooded areas can be found on the Muckross peninsula. The area receives a moist oceanic climate that allows for moss and ferns to thrive. In addition, the only remaining native red deer live in the area, but have become pushed out by the smaller smaller Japanese Sika deer. See for yourself what the national parks have to offer you in Ireland.
Portumna Forest Park lies on the northern shore of Lough Derg. For those looking for a variety of habitat types, this park has marsh areas, woodlands, a lake, scrub and open spaces. Because of the many habitats, there are an abundant wildlife that have made this place their home such as otters, deer and pine martin. Trails have been established for easy access to watch the wildlife. Also, this forest park can be accessed by boat.
You can find Lough key Forest Park just east of Boyle. This park offers a mixed bag of islands, waterways and woodlands. Notable features include an old estate chapel, bog-garden, fairy bridge, historical monuments and viewing tower. Camping is available within the park. Get theexperience of the waterways by taking a cruise or renting a boat.
The Pollardstown Fen is one of the most important wild boglands in Ireland. Its calcareous spring fed fen has received international acclaim for being the largest in this country. Located north of Curragh, it is 3 km from Newbridge. The ground conditions require for visitors to remain on the built pathways through the boglands.
Slieve Bloom Mountains is Ireland's largest nature reserve. The region contains blanket bog and trails though the conifer forests. Take the Cut for the best views of the bog. You can get to this bogland by heading south from Clonaslee on the third class road to Mountrath.
Breeding seabirds and several of the largest colonies of gannets in the world visit Ireland during all four seasons. Little Skellig sees a throng of gannets every year. To reach this national preserve, take a boat from Portmagee. Check out Irish Wildbird Conservancy Reserve from your boat to see tens of thousands of gannets and thousands of shearwaters and puffins.
During the summer, visit the Cliffs of Moher for views of guillemots, fulmars, razorbills, choughs and puffins. Its easy access to the road make it a great spot to birdwatch and relax. While there, stop in the visitors' center to get more information about these amazing birds.
View one of the most elusive animals in Ireland, the pine martin, at Dromore, which is 10 miles north of Ehnis.
Wander through one of Yeats' old stomping grounds and check out the side variety of flora on an estate that was once owned by Lady Gregory at Coole. Ballinastaig Woodland, Coole/Garryland is two miles northwest of Gort and has a visitors' center, nature trails and an audio-video show.