This circular walk takes in the north part of Blairadam Forest along with surrounding farmland.
Distance: 8 miles / 13 km
Ascent: 985 feet / 300 m
Start / finish area: Kelty
Other walks in Blairadam:
- Blairadam Estate and Forest (short)
- Blairadam Estate and Forest 8 miles
- Blairadam Forest Waymarked Trails
Start from the Forestry Commission Clentry car park at grid ref NT 129 946. This is the lower car park at the forest workshops. From the picnic area beside the public road, follow the tarmac road down into the forest for 950m to reach the main car park.
This walks starts off using the same route through Blairadam Estate as the shorter route Blairadam Estate and Forest (short).
Leave the car park heading north into the forest downhill. As you go down the hill you will pass a totem pole on your left then some brickwork with an inscription. This may refer to big cat sightings that have occurred in the area.
At the junction of tracks at the bottom of the hill, go through the green gate but don’t veer left onto the main forest track, instead keep straight on using a rough path through the trees. The path will take you over a couple of wooden footbridges before turning left to go uphill to join a forest road. Turn left onto this road and follow it round to the right when it reaches a house.
Continue onwards on the track which leads to Blairadam House. At the junction with a sign for a private road, keep to the right. You will now walk through an open area of fields and pass through some gates. At the next junction you need to turn to your left towards a house. Before doing so however, note the walled garden to your right. Although you can’t get access to it, you can peek through the door/gate. Walk past the house on your left and where the track comes to an end in the field, follow a wall/fence on your left to the edge of the forest where there is a stile.
Once in the forest there is a rough path which takes you to a forest track where there is a new signpost.
Turn right onto the forest track (signed for Lochran) which can be a bit muddy at times. Follow the track right to its end (ignore a waymarker arrow post pointing right). At the end of the track a rough path / mountain bike trail provides a continuation. The path turns right and descends downhill alongside a small burn. At the bottom of the hill, cross the burn and stay on the path as it heads westwards along the edge of the forest. The path then turns southwards and climbs back up the hill. Fallen trees cause it to twist and turn a bit as it heads out of the densely forested area to a more open area. The views to the north now open up. A grassy path goes off to your right which is a short cut but if you stay on the main path you can also turn right at a grassy T junction on to a wider grassy path. Follow this path in a westerly direction with the knoll of Cowden Knowe to your right, until you reach a T junction. Turn right on to a surfaced forest track which leads past a mobile phone mast to your right.
After the mast the track swings round to the left. At the point where the surface starts to deteriorate a path and gate on your right handside provide a detour to the grassy summit of Cowden Hill. This is a good lunch / coffee stop although there are no rocks to sit on.
Return to the track and continue onwards in a westerly direction. Once into the conifer trees, the surface starts to improve again. At the next T junction turn right heading northwards on a path which follows the edge of a field.The path turns right then left and right again as it reaches the north edge of the forest.
The path exits the forest at Ryebog. Walk round the side of the house (don’t walk across the lawn) and pick up the access road. After 500m the road turns left at Flockhouse before turning right again. Continue onwards for a further 500m passing the old farm until the road turns left. Follow the road which again turns right after 250m. After this turn the road goes more or less straight on for just over 1km past Sunnyside, over the M90 bridge to reach the farm of Lochran.
After Lochran, cross over the main road and pick up the road directly opposite signed for Balingry. Take care on this road as some of the traffic on it can be a bit fast for the road. After approximately 700m you will reach a house on your right hand side at Parenwell. Note the old bridge on the other side of the road. Turn right at this house onto a signed path. Follow this path for about 700m first through fields and later through a small housing development until you reach the main road.
Cross over the road and pick up the road opposite signed for Maryburgh. Follow this road for about 600m as it turns left to head south. Look out for a set of stone gate posts on your right hand side at some woods. Go through the gate posts and follow the track through the woods for about 400m to emerge at a large farm. Turn left and walk along the road for about 200m and then turn right on to the only through road (other roads are just access to houses). This short section of road takes you past a few houses and then reaches a T junction where you need to turn right. This next section of track leads you in a westerley direction back towards the forest passing through an underpass under the motorway.
300m after the underpass you arrive back at the forest track junction where you were earlier. Turn left here and walk the final 500m back to the car park.
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View / download GPX from Ordnance Survey
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