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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: Blairpark Farm Courtyard

Off A760 Largs-Lochwinnoch

Grid Reference: NS 249 574

OS Map: Landranger 63

Distance: 6.5km 4 miles

Height Gain: 255m

Time: 3-4 hours

Terrain: Track and Rough Moor

The four peaks circular route takes you up onto the rough moorland hilltops where you’ll encounter airplane wreckage, great views and the odd peat bog.

Find the Route Card here.

The route: Starting at Blairpark Courtyard follow the road uphill towards Howcraig. As the track bears left continue north on the grassy path. Head north east across the col to Feuside Hill (431m) then south east to Irish Law (484m).From the summit of Irish Law take an eastward line off the hill and make for the gap in the fence. Continue over the heather moorland in order to reach the summits of Knockside Hill (446m). As there is no obvious route off the hill we advise you walk down to the river, crossing at the safest and narrowest point. If the river is in spate, cross higher up the valley.

Airplane wreckage is still present on the northern slopes of Irish Law. In 1948 a Vickers Viking aircraft bound for Renfrew airport struck the hill late one evening. Miraculously, all 20 passengers and crew on board escaped before the aircraft was consumed by flames.

Do you like Geocaching? Find the hidden treasure amongst the hills! If you have a GPS, set yourself the challenge of locating these boxes. Check out www.geocaching.com for more information.

The views from the hill top summits are fantastic. On a clear day, you can spot the iconic features of Ailsa Craig, Goatfell on the Isle of Arran and the most southerly munro, Ben Lomond.

Birds: Look out for hen harriers, raven, golden plover, grey wagtail and willow warbler as they fly across the moorland.

Vegetation: Sphagnum moss, cotton grass, purple moor-grass, common and bell heather all thrive in the exposed upland landscape.

NB map and compass skills are essential as most of the walk is not on tracks.

Start/Finish: MuMuirshiel Walkersirshiel Visitor Centre

Grid Reference: NS 311 631

OS Map: Landranger 63

Distance: 10km, 6.5 miles

Height Gain: 292m

Time: 5-6 hours

Terrain: Track and Rough Moor

Experience the wild open moorland landscapes, once frequented by Sir Winston Churchill. The circular route starts at Muirshiel Country Park, passes an old barytes mine and includes the easily identified ‘Misty Law’.

Find the Route Card here.

The route: from the Visitor Centre car park take the road westwards for 3.5km through the gate and along the ‘mine track’.  At the disused mine, leave the track and head south for 2km onto the rough open hillside to reach the rounded summit of Hill of Stake (522m).  Then walk south east along the boundary fence to Misty Law (510m).  Head north to cross the Raith Burn, then east to the join the track and return to start.

Barytes Mine:  was operation for 200 years, it closed in 1969 when 48 local people had been employed, the site is now used for 4×4 driver training.  Locally, baryte was used as a white pigment in textiles, paint and paper production.

Aircraft Remains:  In the Hill of Stake area three planes have crashed in poor weather – a Spartan Cruiser, a Hurricane and a Seafire.

Wildlife: Many birds can be spotted in and around the moorland. Look out for hen harriers, ravens, kestrels, willow warblers, grey stonechat and wrens. Green hairstreak butterflies and common hawker dragonflies can be spotted amongst the heather in summer.

NB Map and Compass skills are essential as the route is unmarked with few defined features.

 

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.

CMRP Walking Festival Fills Up!

Clyde Muirshiel’s first ever walking festival, taking place in Scotland’s largest Regional Park on 26-28 May 2018 is filling up

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First Steps for Walking Festival

The first ever Clyde Muirshiel Walking Festival will take place in Scotland’s largest Regional Park on 26-28 May 2018. Click

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Start/Finish: Dalry Moor Road,
Nr Glenburn Reservoir

Grid Reference: NS 215 524

OS Map: Landranger 63

Height Gain: 147m

Distance: 5km, 3 miles

Time: 3-4 hours

Terrain: Rough Moor and Track

Find the Route Card here.

This circular route offers outstanding views of the Firth of Clyde – on a clear day the views of Arran and Ailsa Craig, make it well worth the walk to the summit!  Whatever the weather there are fascinating Iron Age rock markings and remains of an old millstone quarry.

The route: At the cattle grid beside the tree line, pass through the gate and walk along the level track for 2km.  At the end of the track, detour northwest for 100m to the edge of the woodland to see cup and ring marked rock, then bear east over the burn then uphill to the summit.  From the trig point head south west, be careful to avoid the rocky outcrops at the disused quarry, to get to the road and the starting point.

Kaim Hill Quarry produced excellent quality millstones product that was sent all over Britain and exported to the West Indies, America and Australia from the early 18th century.

Cup and Ring Markings may have been a form of prehistoric art although their original significance is still unknown.  The cup marks with rings, similar to ripples on water are on a slab of rock.

Glenburn Waterfall: As you return to the start take a 30m detour downhill to find the pretty waterfall hidden from the road.

Birds: Keep a look out for birds such as hen harrier, golden plover, raven, buzzard and skylark that are likely to be spotted in and around the moorland landscape.

Vegetation: Thyme, Tormentil, Cotton Grass, Bog Asphodel and Sphagnum Moss.

NB map and compass skills are essential as low cloud cover can envelop rapidly. This route can also be walked from Fairlie Glen as it is easily accessible from Fairlie train station.

These walks are for the more advanced walker, for family friendly walks around each of our three Visitor Centres see Walks and Cycles on our Downloads page. There are also Route card PDFs for some walks to download with maps.

 

 

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