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Blackcraig and Blacklorg Hills

Walk No: Glenkens 77

Start: Cars can be parked near Lorg Bridge at the head of the Water of Ken valley. GR NS 667007.

Finish: Cars can be parked near Lorg Bridge at the head of the Water of Ken valley. GR NS 667007.

Notes: These two rounded and isolated hills command unrivalled views of forest, desolate moor, the Ayrshire Plain and distant Southern Highlands. They should be given more attention.

• Distance: 10 miles

• Height Gain:
• Approx. Time: 6hours

• Relevant Map:
Difficulty: Strenuous

• Terrain: Forest track and open hills with indestinct paths.
• Toilets: None available

• Refreshments: None available

Route Description
1. Cross over the bridge and follow the path NE alongside and a little above the Water of Ken. Look back to admire the craigs on the E face of Ewe Hill. The path leads to a rough firebreak in the forest which in turn leads to an open area at the side of a forest track. This is the route of the Southern Upland Way. Turn L and then L again after about 150 meters following the forest track uphill. The SUW continues R. Keep to the track as it gradually gains height and leaves the forest. Shortly a fence line crosses the track with a gate across the track.

2. Leave the track, striking L onto the open hill using the old fence as a guide to another fence junction. This forms a common boundary point between the old counties of Ayr, Dumfries and Kirkcudbright. Here turn R and shortly start the ascent of the grassy slopes of Blacklorg Hill. A cairn built into the fence will be found at the summit and remnants of an old wall lead down towards Cannock Hill. A marker post directs the walker in the direction of Blackcraig Hill following an old fence line NNW. Old fence stakes and coils of wire indicate the route until just short of the water shed a fence line is picked up again leading to the summit. Another marker post gives direction to the trig pillar almost hidden inside a stone shelter. Several cairns are built on the stoney summit plateau. The views down to Glen Afton immediately below on the W and the expanse of moor towards Upper Nithsdale on the E contrast with the Ayrshire Plain. Arran and Ailsa Craig can be seen and on a clear day the Southern Highlands stand proud on the north horizon.

3. Return over Blacklorg and descend to the fence junction. Here you depart from the outward route, turn R and swing round onto Meikledodd Hill. Ignore the fence coming up the hill from the R and follow the fence as it drops down onto Lorg Hill. Continue the steady descent until the fence takes a sharp turn L. Leave the fence and head down the steep short grass slopes towards Lorg and the start point.