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Bardennoch Trail


Walk No: Glenkens 65

Start: A signed car park is situated in the forest just off the A 713 Castle Douglas – Ayr Road opposite the hamlet of Dundeugh. GR NX593878.

Finish: A signed car park is situated in the forest just off the A 713 Castle Douglas – Ayr Road opposite the hamlet of Dundeugh. GR NX593878.

Nearest Town: Carsphairn

Notes: Following the route of an old pack road this trail leads from the medieval settlement of Polmaddy to Carsphairn. Ideally, a car situated at each end halves the distance of this walk. Please note that between mid April and mid May this route is closed for lambing purposes.

• Distance: 4 miles

• Height Gain:
• Approx. Time: 2hours

• Relevant Map:
Difficulty: Moderate

• Terrain: Rough path through forest and open moor. Wet in places.
• Toilets: By Carsphairn Heritage Centre.

• Refreshments: Available in Carsphairn.
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Route Description
1. An interpretative board in the car park outlines the remains to be seen of the medieval settlement of Polmaddy and the various sites are individually signed. Cross over the Polmaddy burn by the footbridge and head towards the old village. Just beyond the Inn the Pack Road crosses the path, turn R and follow the Pack Road into the forest. It is visible for most of the route as a depression in the ground and has marker posts indicating the route.

2. The route drops down towards a junction, continue through the dyke, cross the stream and gain height. At an area of burnt trees cross the stream on right; bear left keeping the same stream on the left and continue northwards on a slight uphill course.

3. A stile in a wet corner of the forest leads out onto the open hill. A dyke leads to a clump of trees. Follow this and at the corner a stile leads over the fence. Braidenoch can be seen below. The Pack Road continues a few meters below the fence line. A stock gate in the fence is located near the summit of Braidenoch Hill and almost half way between it and the summit will be found the Cross Slabs. These are medieval crosses lying on the ground and purport to be 10th century but the reason they are situated here is uncertain. Also on this plateau are to be found several Bronze Age ring cairns.

4. Rejoin the Pack Road and continue northwards. The remains of a large 60 foot diameter Bronze Age Cairn lie partly under the dyke ahead. The only manifestation above ground of the cairns existence is where the dyke stands on firm ground over the site whilst the dyke each side has sunk into the peaty soil. The dyke leads around Bardennoch Hill. Keeping the hill on the R takes you back to the Pack Road and a stile allows access over a fence where the Road starts its descent towards Carsphairn which can be seen ahead.

5. The Road passes by old grouse butts on the moor and the remains of Cairn Avel, a Neolithic Long Cairn burial mound is visible to the left. Originally this was 118 feet long, 70 feet wide tapering to 30 feet wide at the westerly end and 10 feet high. The west end of the cairn has been robbed of stones to build nearby dykes.

6. Leave the moor through the second gate into the field and follow the track across the field through two more gates to Carnavel Farm. Join the farm road near the buildings and follow this to the A713 main road. Turn left for Carsphairn.