Well having picked up the new kayak on Sunday, a test was well overdue. Loch Eck was the ideal locus.
An 8 mile paddle, first paddle in a year. Never tire of Loch Eck!
With the kayak sold,a replacement sourced, a family outing was on the cards. There was no better choice of location than the calm water of Loch Eck for the first family voyage.
Did this trip a while back and forgot to Blog it !!
Decided to take the bike for this one,but it can also be walked in one day or alternatively split into two days/sections.
21 mile loop of Loch Eck. A great trail giving a scenic tour of Loch Eck. Ground covered is mostly on wide forestry roads, there is a section of hardcore hill path above Inverchapel.
Starting from Benmore Gardens in a clockwise direction. Heading up the West side to Glenbranter then returning down the East side via Invernoden and Inverchapel.Can also start/finish at Glenbranter. The West side offers mostly Loch level walking, with a slight climb at the North end. Of course, what goes up must come down. The East side gives the chances if some fantastic elevated view points, so some bigger climbs on this side…..but worth it.
West side,never strays to far from the edge of the Loch. Benmore to Glenbranter.
A few points of interest on the West side.
– Small burial ground/cemetery.
– Bernice farmhouse, used as outdoor centre.
– Stuck Farmhouse ruin.
East side, climbs away from the main road high above the Loch. Glenbranter,Invernoaden, Inverchapel and to back to Benmore.
Of course, a huge incentive to complete this loop is a well earned treat at the Benmore Cafe .
For a fully interactive map with more photos and stats , CLICK HERE
Below is a basic route card.
Decided to try something different,a bike followed by a hike to get to this trig point.
Parking at Glenbranter at the FCS car park, I headed off on the bike for the forestry road section. I’d found an ATV track by chance when descending from Beinn Bheag a good while back, so relocating this track for access to the hill was the next step. Remarkably I found the track, as if I was there yesterday, just as I remembered. The track too steep to cycle up, I pushed the bike the point of the washed out burn crossing then walked the remainder and onto the open hill. There’s a couple of splits in the track, two lefts and a right gets you onto the hill. The second left hand track was unknown to me as my descent on last trip came from the right, but the choice paid off.
The track took me out at the base of the hill, leaving a short and steep ascent to the trig, far easier than I thought it’d be.
Stunning views were to be had, snow covered hills and mountains all around, along with partial views over Loch Eck.
I remember seeing a mast at the top of this hill many years ago, but it had vanished and I never thought anything about it…….until I reached the summit. The control station still exists along with the dismantled mast, the internals of the station stripped out…..a good wee place to hide in extreme weather! Even if there’s no door.
After a wee wander about the tops I returned on the same route, picking up a frosty bike for the downhill return. I’m no mountain biker, mostly forestry roads but I enjoyed hanging of the back of the bike on the track section!! The forestry road hardly took a turn of the pedals to get back to the car, the quickest descent I’ve ever done!!!
Time saving and energy saving……it’s the future!!!! 😉
Interactive map and pictures HERE
Location map below.
A giveaway bonanza!!! Your chance to add this beauty of a conversation starter to your kitchen cupboard.
YOU could be drinking from this very mug, sculpted from the finest Funky Pigeon clay (no pigeons harmed in the making of this mug) and emblazoned with an image from one of my walks.
All you need to do is ‘Like’ this on Facebook ( Explore Cowal) , ‘Favourite’ on Twitter (@explorecowal) or leave a comment on here to be entered into the prize draw.
The draw will take place on Sunday the 4th January 2015.
There is only one mug available, so prior to entering please ensure you are able to come to terms with the fact you may not win it.
Here’s to a great 2015. 👍🍻
Letting the bike take the strain !!!
Having bought a rear rack and bike mounted luggage from eBay (combination of bargains) a while back, it was time to put it to full use.
Not quite sure what size the rear panniers are but I’m guessing 32-40lts combined, plenty of room for a night away……plus additional nights. Bar bag probably giving 3lts of space, enough for bridge camera and some other camera stuff.
Despite a balmy 7 degrees forecast decided to take my 4 season sleeping bag and my tent as supposed to bivi bag. Might as well let the bike take the strain and sleep out in comfort.
Loaded and ready for the bike.
Destination, ruins of Stuck Farmhouse.
Flooded roads and landslides but we made it…….