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Hill of Stake

Start/Finish: Murishiel 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’.

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.

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