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Dunrod Hill.

Looming over Greenock Cut Visitor Centre, Dunrod Hill is a short, sharp but rewarding climb with panoramic views over the Inverclyde hills and waters.

dunrodStart/Finish: Greenock Cut Visitor Centre

OS Map: Landranger 63

Grid Reference: NS 227 738

Grade: Strenuous

Distance: 5km, 3 miles

Time: 1.5 hours

Terrain: Steep grassy section, open moorland, rough tracks and tarmac.

Find the Route Card here.

Route Overview: A short steep grassy climb or decent for hilltop vistas over the Firth of Clyde. Route uses old reservoir gravel tracks over open moorland. Potentially boggy in places!

The Route: Start at the top left corner of the car park and go over the stile, follow the informal trail up the hill! Option to go straight up or follow the zig zag trail to the right. At the top of the slope turn right to reach the summit cairn of ‘Hillside Hill’ (297m). From this cairn head ‘west’ to the gate in the fence line before heading up to the trig point of ‘Dunrod Hill’ (298m). Now a Site of Special Scientific Interest at it is part of the Clyde Plateau Lavas that contain 340 million year old volcanic rocks. From the trig point head north east downhill to the metal field gate to join a wee path, then jump the burn to follow the reservoir track. At the junction go straight on to the telephone mast at Scroggy Bank. Keep the mast on your left, at the layby there are great views of all the big named reservoirs in the area. Follow the track downhill taking a sharp right onto the loose gravel of the ‘Overton Track’. Loch Thom will be on your left and the Visitor Centre straight ahead.

Start/Finish: Greenock Cut Visitor Centre

OS Map: Landranger 63

Grid Reference: NS 227 738

Grade: Moderate

Distance: 2.5k, 1.5 miles

Time: 1 hour

Terrain: Mixture of level gravel paths, steps and wooden board walk with steps over the moorland.

Find the Route Card here. Find the Wood Spirits guide (who hide in the Glen’s trees – a great kids activity) here.

Route Overview: Combine a little bit of the Greenock and Kelly Cuts, woodland glen and board walk with fine views of the Cowal peninsula and the Firth of Clyde. Steps involved!

The Route: From the car park cross the road to the start of the Greenock Cut, follow the signs going along the Greenock Cut. Go through the gate and downhill passing the site of the 2nd World War Light Emplacement – this is now an attractive picnic site with lovely views over the Clyde. Follow the trail downhill through the native trees along the Kip Water.

The Glen is a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of the variety of deciduous trees such as Silver Birch, Oak, Ash and Rowan, 150 years ago there was a sandstone quarry lower down the Glen that was used to build many of the houses in the West End of Greenock.

At the bottom of the glen go through the gate and onto the boardwalk, at the corner beside the stone wall look out for lizards basking in the sunshine. The trail takes you up lots of steps, look out for wild thyme growing in the sandy soil. At the top turn left, along the Kelly Cut (built in 1845 to supply Loch Thom with more water) to return to the start at the Greenock Cut Visitor Centre.

Wildlife: In summer common lizards bask on rocks, golden ringed dragonfly patrol the waterways, green tiger beetles chase their prey and parent birds rush to feed their young. Look out for birds of prey – hen harriers patrol the moorland or ospreys hunting for fish in the reservoirs.


Start/Finish: Greenock Cut Visitor Centre

OS Map: Landranger 63

Grid Reference: NS 227 738

Grade: Moderate

Distance: 18.5k, 11.5 miles

Time: 5-6 hours

Terrain: Predominately low gradient track

Find the Kelly Cut & Leapmoor Forest Route Card here.

This full day circular trail goes through open moorland, rolling fields, enclosed forests and offers great views of the Firth of Clyde and Cowal Peninsula. Step back in time on the Kelly Cut as you walk alongside the engineering masterpiece by Robert Thom.

The route: From the car park follow the green signs over the bridge, onto the Kelly Cut. Continue for 5km then head west alongside Kelly burn towards Wemyss Bay. Walk through Kellybank Caravan Park. At Weymss Bay Caravan Park take the first right following the road to Kelly Mains farm. At the farm turn right through the metal gate onto a grassy path, this takes you along a tree lined track to Finnoch Bog farm. Turn right onto Spey Road following the signs for Leapmoor Forest. After passing Hill Cottage use the metal pedestrian gate to access the next 4.5km of forest track. At the north end of the forest, use the stile onto to access the open moorland. Go up hill, following the wall to locate the second stile then downhill onto the ‘Greenock Cut Nature Trail’ to return to the start.

The Kelly Cut aqueduct was built in 1845 to supply Loch Thom with more water, such was the demand from the thriving industries and the increasing population of Greenock. Look out for curlews at the reservoir and the birds of prey hen harriers patrolling the moorland.

Leapmoor Forest a Sitka spruce plantation is cropped every 35-50. The versatile wood is used in ship construction as well as paper and pallet making. Look out for sparrowhawks nesting amongst the trees as well as crossbill, coal tit and goldcrests. Take care as logging activity is ongoing.

Wildlife: In summer common lizards bask on rocks, golden ringed dragonfly patrol the waterways, green tiger beetles chase their prey and parent birds rush to feed their young.

Blood Moss is scattered with archaeological remains such as long cists, ring ditches and enclosures, all built over 1000 years ago. At Kelly Burn there is burial cairn that dates back over 4000 years and can still be found today. Although sometimes hard to find, these features reveal an insight into how past inhabitants once lived on the landscape.

NB Please be aware sheep and cattle are often in the fields at Kelly Mains Farm.

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