If you’re ever down in Killarney and looking for a short sharp bit of exercise, then try out the Cardiac Hill loop walk which starts from near the famous Torc waterfall. This walk was created up and across the north slopes of Torc Mountain 20-30 years ago and soon acquired the local name Cardiac Hill, although it is officially known as the Red Loop.
Start from the Cardiac Carpark a little west of Torc waterfall, cross the road and turn right to follow an undulating track that parallels the road. Note this walk is one directional, long predating Covid. The reason shortly becomes apparent as you turn left up a fairly savagely steep climb. It is stepped all the way but pretty unrelenting bar a few short zig zags here & there. Apparently there are 1250 steps on this initial section and it’s without doubt the steepest waymarked trail in Ireland, even Alpine like in nature. On this section it ascends 210 metres over a distance of 380 metres, giving an average gradient of 33°. There’s a further couple of hundred steps followed by a sweeping descent back down to the car park. A little over 4 kilometres in total, it’ll clear the cobwebs away for sure.