Explore Ireland’s first national park
Gougane Barra was Ireland’s first National Park when it opened to the public in 1966. This contributes greatly to the reputation which Gougane Barra has as an area of wild and beautiful scenery. The magnificent Forest Park covers an area of over 400 hectares (1,000 acres).
The River Lee rises here in Gougane Barra and flows through beautiful scenery to reach Cork Harbour. There is a tiny island in the lake at Gougane Barra connected to the shore by a causeway. It was here that St. Finbarr, patron saint of Cork, founded his early Christian monastery, before moving down the River Lee to establish a monastery at what is now St. Finbarrs Cathedral in Cork City. There is a small church on the island in this beautiful and serene location away from the hustle & bustle of daily life.