First paddle of the season resulted in a camping trip to the West shore of Loch Eck.
Video of trip
A walk I’ve been wanting to do far a while. Originally intended on doing this in January but on advice I waited till the shooting season has finished. Pheasant season finishes on the 1st of February and starts again 1st of October. The early part of the year is a good time to do this walk as all the bracken has died back, making it easier to navigate the path.
The footpath joins up two shooting estates that border the shores of Loch Striven and connects the C10 to the B836.
It’s a Right of Way as publicised by HERITAGE PATHS that covers just over 4.7 miles each way following an old track through natural woodlands between the two esates.
There isn’t any signs for the Pathway on the Glenstriven side,so it’s advisable to get a copy of an OS Map. The path is detailed on both 1:50k and 1:25k.
Starting off from Glenstriven it was an easy walk through the estate,firstly turning left onto the shore road and following it past the cottages,over the bridge and uphill to the turn off point.
The turn off at apex of the bend.
Once on the track there was an option of left or right,right being the wise choice. The path is defined by a narrow track winding its way through the heather then on to more open ground and woodland.
The map shows a number of Fords to cross,but these are easily negotiated.
The remainder of Bot nan Creagan can also be founf en route.
Onwards to Ardtaraig,the path still well defined. Some sections do fade away but are picked up again in no time. There’s a number of trees down over the path,but these are easly negotiated either by threading yourself through them or going round the obstacle.
The gated Boundary between the Estates.The Ardtaraig side is the smaller section,once through the gate its a short section of path then onto the hardcore road. I went round the front of the first house/chalet along the beach then up onto the road.
From here it’s straight on towards the big house then passing to the right of the barn with green doors.
The final section once through the back of the estate is to pass the next barn to the right,heading over the bridge and follow the path as it winds it’s way to the B836, you have arrived at your destination! Well…retrace your steps to pick up the car!
Some pictures of the signs i never seen on the way in. There is also some old faded tape round a few trees.
A fully interactive map is available by clicking HERE. Contains locations of pictures and some stats.
Can’t find anything for Ardtaraig.
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.
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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.
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Here’s to a great 2015. 👍🍻
A walk I’ve not done for a while, Sgorach Mor was on the cards after last weeks trip ti Beinn Mhor. An interesting hill,giving great 360 degree views ( weather permitting ) not forgetting the views over Loch Tarsan.
5.7 (ish) miles :- 3 hrs.
Starting off on forestry roads,then onto a quad track (wet in places) and onwards to the open hill. The open hill is strewn with large boulders to start with along with many rocky outcrops. The summit it’s self is found on top of a rocky mass knows as the ‘volcanic plug’ !! It looks daunting on the approach but as you contour to the left and get to the rear of the hill,an easy final ascent to the summit is found. No trig point on this one,but a well defined Cairn awaits.
I made it up just in time,the clag wasn’t long in closing in on the summit.
A point to worth noting is where you come out of the tree line. Sometimes it can be hard to retrace to find your exit from the hill. I’m pretty sure there’s another way onto this hill from the top track,it looks to come out to the open hill by the burn at top of the climb then follow the fence line to Sgorach Mor, I just stuck to what I found last time up there.
Map of Route.
Interactive map with pictures and stats, click HERE
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…….
After the mid week trip to Loch Etive. A paddle back in Cowal was required.
Ormidale to Bute was the choice for a morning paddle.
Although parking is limited at the end of the Ormidale road there was one space left.
Setting off from Ormidale through the moored yachts, sticking to the coastline down to the shelter of Caladh.
I spotted the Kayak stop off point on my way down. Initially I was going to paddle down towards Tighnabruaich then cross over to Bute, but in a moment of madness I set off straight for the landing spot on Bute.
A great location with shelter,place for a fire and a composting toilet. 5 star shoreside luxury !!
Stayed long enough to get a coffee on the go before returning via the same route.
Map of route
I’ve been unfaithful………I’ve been exploring other areas!!!
A wee mid week paddle to Loch Etive to visit and stay over at Cadderlie Bothy.
Launched at Taynuilt and headed on our 4 mile paddle. Tad on the windy side on the way out and the biggest waves I’ve encountered yet…..all good fun.
Fuel: Surrounding woodland.
Altitude: 17 mts
Bike friendly : 10/10
Pics from the trip……..
The paddle in
Saturday morning and again I was heading to Loch Eck. This time with a purpose…to find a spot for a nights camping. There’s a couple of large beaches on the Loch,but was looking for something different.
Also wanted to try out my new stove ( Vango Ultralite,73gms) ,have had it for ages and testing it in the garage just isn’t the same.
The beach has great views and usually has on side that’s sheltered from any wind, or the options to head into the trees.
After the beach stop I headed North to the River Cur just to give the arms a work out…….looks like alligator territory up there!!!!
Whilst paddling I did notice some areas of the dreaded Japanese Knotweed growing!!! Having received an email from a member of the local walking group to record any locations I got some pictures and reported back. Hopefully the organised group will be able to treat and eradicate the problem on the shores.
Looking forward to the next visit to this beach……maybe even with the tent.
Oh,almost forgot. 360 degree video of beach