Ireland’s Killarney National Park to get breathtaking ‘sister park’ in the USA

Killarney National Park in Ireland will become a new ‘sister park’ for the Glacier National Park in Montana, USA.

The spectacular park in County Kerry will become the only Irish destination on the current list of the USA’s sister parks, when an agreement is officially signed between Ireland and the USA later this year.

This will allow the two parks to partner up as sister parks, and share ideas on everything from managing invasive species in both parks, to working with local communities and improving ecological monitoring at both destinations, according to RTE.

Killarney is one of six national parks in Ireland, and boasts everything from sprawling woodlands to rugged walking trails, as well as some breathtaking stately homes and castles.

A deer grazes on grace at Lady's View at Killarney National Park
Lady’s View at Killarney National Park

Highlights include Ross Castle which dates back to the 15th century, and Muckross House and Gardens which date back to the 17th century.

There’s an impressive array of wildlife too from newts, slugs and mussels to rare birds including the wood warbler.

You can find out more about the park on killarneynationalpark.ie.

Meanwhile, Glacier National Park in Montana is definitely one to bookmark for the bucket list. One of our top picks of the USA’s 12 best national parks, it’s long been a hit with intrepid explorers thanks to its rugged mountainous landscape, lush green forests and breathtaking lakes (the Hidden Lake is a particular highlight).

Oh, and if you do visit one day make sure to pack some sturdy walking boots – there are over 700 miles of trails to be explored throughout the park.

You can find out more about the park on nps.gov/glac/index.htm.

A grey misty day at Muckross Lake, also called Middle Lake or The Torc, in Killarney National Park, County Kerry, Ireland.
A grey misty day at Muckross Lake

According to the USA’s National Parks Service website, the Sister Parks system in the US has been put in place because “it is widely accepted national parks are simply too small to fulfill their mission of preserving natural and cultural resources on their own”.

The idea is that by pairing up with parks around the world, different regions can share their expertise to not only preserve their wildlife and fauna, but to also find new initiatives to protect the landscapes from factors ranging from air pollution to over-tourism.

You can find out more about the sister parks on nps.gov.

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