Devilla Forest: Moor Loch

A 3 mile circular walk through what is possibly the best part of Devilla Forest. Parts of this walk may be muddy after heavy rain. Moor Loch is the second largest of Devilla’s lochs but is probably the richest for wildlife.

Distance: 3 miles / 5 km

Ascent: 250 feet / 75 m

Start / finish: Kincardine

Facilities: buses to Kincardine, refreshments at the Walled Garden or the Puttery

Other walks in Devilla Forest:

 

Start from the east end of Osborne Drive in Kincardine. Try postcode FK10 4RZ which seems to be the code for nearby houses. At the far end of the road you will find a path leading eastwards into the forest which is an old right of way. Follow this path into the forest and past some houses until you reach a crossroads of forest tracks. Go straight on at this junction and look for a path (not track) leading off to your left which is discreetly signed for Moor Loch and the Danes Camp. The path used not to be too obvious but in recent years has been well used and is now very easy to follow.

The first point of interest on the path is an opening in the rhododendrons on your left hand side that will give you a view across the Moor Loch. When water levels are low, there is a small sandy beach here. Continue on along the path through a tunnel of rhododendrons (best time of year for this walk is probably mid June). These are mostly the purple variety which grow everywhere but there are some dark pink ones around as well. There is an information sign with info about the Danes Camp and Curling Pond. Continue along the path keep the loch to your left, by mid June yellow flag irises will be starting to bloom. Once past the loch it is just a short distance until you join one of the main forest tracks.

Turn left on to this track to walk round the north side of the loch. The track going off to your right leads to Peppermill Dam, so keep left. This section of the forest is less scenically pleasing as it is mostly spruce conifer trees. As you come round the west side of the loch you will find a track/path leading off to your left. Follow this track for a short distance down to the loch shore. It looks as though there has been an outlet for the reservoir here at some point. Lots of irises and reeds grow in this area and it is good for spotting wildfowl. Turn to your right to pick up a narrow path along the loch side which crosses along the top of the old dam. At the point where the dam finishes the path turns into the trees and becomes a bit more indistinct. However, you should have no trouble finding your way through the trees and back out on to the forest track.

Turn right on to this track (which instinctively feels wrong when you are doing a circuit of the loch). Walk on to the next junction. This junction is actually a cross roads with a less worn path going straight on. Follow this path which will take you up the ruin of a laundry house. Follow the path round to the left keeping a fence to your right. Initially there are fields to your right but as the path turns southwards there are more rhododendrons beyond which are the grounds of Tulliallan Castle, the Police Training College.

The conifer trees give way to deciduous beech trees and you will soon reach another well made track. Before doing so though, look to your left for the remains of an ice house. Once on the track to your right is a gate into Tulliallan but you need to turn left. At the first junction keep right (left will take you back to the last crossroads where you left the main tracks), then look out for an unsurfaced path on your right hand side. Take this path (if you continue straight on you will end up back where you joined the forest track after leaving the dam). The path is easy to follow although may be muddy. It will lead downhill to cross a small burn and then back up the other side. A stand of bamboo is a useful marker for finding the burn crossing (small wooden bridge). Keep a fence to your left hand side and after the burn follow a very narrow track which brings you back to the old right of way very close to your starting point.

 

View/ download GPX track of this route on Viewranger.

View/ download GPX track of this route on Ordnance Survey.

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© 2016 – 2017  Fife Walking.  All rights reserved. If using this route for a group or organised walk please credit Fife Walking as your source.

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