View towards the Muckross Peninsula from
Torc Waterfall c. 1842
This cache is located beside a beautiful secluded beach which is
named after Elizabeth Rose Vincent (born 15th January 1915), who
was affectionately known as Rosie by her parents, Arthur and Maud
Rose Vincent, owners of the Muckross Estate from 1911 until 1932.
This was one of young Rosie’s favourite places.
Following the sad death of Maud from pneumonia in 1929, Arthur
Rose Vincent, along with Maud’s father William Bowers Bourn,
decided to donate the entire Estate to the nation and on 1st
January 1933 the state took possession of the “Bourn Vincent
Memorial Park”, forerunner of Killarney National Park.
Muckross peninsula has always been popular with visitors -
writing in 1775, Arthur Young describes the scenery close to the
“…[the shoreline] forms a scene, consisting of but
few parts, but those strongly marked: the rocks are bold, and
broken into slight caverns; they are fringed with scattered trees,
and from many parts of them wood shoots in that romantic manner so
common at Killarney. Full in front Turk [SIC] mountain rises
with the proudest outline, in that abrupt magnificence which fills
up the whole space before one, and closes the scene”.
In their book “A Week At Killarney” (1865) Mr. and
Mrs. S.C. Hall write:
“Torc Lake should be more visited than it is; the rocks
here are the most beautiful anywhere and are perforated in all
possible ways. There is but one island, the Devil’s Island.
There are otters in the Devil’s Island. In fact, a row around
Torc Lake may be a rare treat for a long summer evening; landing
occasionally, to walk among the woods of Mucross, but more
especially with a view to examine the singular formations of the
Across the lake from the cache, the steep face of Torc mountain
forms part of a major geological boundary separating the mountains
(comprising of old red sandstone) from the limestone lowlands
referred to above, and the deepest point on any of
Killarney’s lakes is found opposite the cache where the face
plunges to a depth of over 225 feet.
Sandstone boulders dotted around the Muckross peninsula are
‘erratics’ which were deposited on top of the limestone
by melting glaciers after being transported from the upper
Killarney valley. This is also the origin of the sand forming the
Yew trees such as those close to the cache are often found
growing on areas of limestone, and Reenadinna Yew Wood (which you
may pass en route to the cache) is one of the most extensive and
ecologically important areas of yew woodland in Europe.
If you decide to continue westwards along the Muckross peninsula
you will cross the geological boundary from limestone to sandstone
shortly before reaching Bricín Bridge. As you cross the transition
the soil becomes much more acidic and yew and hazel trees give way
Devil’s Island (referred to by Mr. and Mrs. Hall above) is
visible from near the far end of the beach and is also known as the
‘Devil’s Spit’ – legend has it that the
Devil took a bite out of Torc Mountain (known as the Devil’s
Bit) and spat it into the lake!
At the far end of the lake you should be able to see Dinis
Cottage, which was originally constructed by Henry Herbert
(original owner of Muckross House) as a hunting lodge. It is now
operated as a seasonal tea room and is well worth a visit if you
have the chance.
The most convenient route to the cache is to follow the main
Muckross Lake circuit track (which is a good quality surfaced track
open to walkers and cyclists) before branching off at the waypoint
given below and following the woodland path from there.
Cyclists should note that there is a one-way anti-clockwise
system in place on the main track – it is forbidden to
cycle this track in a clockwise direction.
For walkers the most convenient option is to park at the main
Muckross House car park and walk from there - 30 minutes one-way.
This car park is closed in the evenings however - in this case your
best bet is to park at one of several lay-bys on the N71 Killarney
to Moll's Gap road.
If you have time there is a lovely lakeshore/clifftop track
which can be taken as an alternative to the main track on your way
out or back (not suitable for cyclists). An additional waypoint for
a fine viewing point on this track is given below.
The full circuit of the lake on the main track is 10km, which is
a worthwhile activity in itself for cyclists, or walkers with a
couple of hours to spare, and can be linked with a visit to
Killarney Lakes Series #2 cache "Meeting Place".
This cache is suitable for children, however close supervision
will be necessary as you approach the cache due to deep water and