The countryside around Dunoon & Argyll has much to offer walkers of all abilities. Whether your looking for a gentle stroll or something a little more demanding there`s lots to choose from. For the adventurous walker there are the mountains around Loch Long and the Arrachar Alps, whilst the trails running through the Argyll Forest Park offer gentler hiking. Those interested in less strenuous pursuits can stroll the avenue of Giant Redwoods at the Benmore Botanic Garden or sample some of the world-famous oysters on the shores of Loch Fyne.

Corlarach Forest

Positioned high above the Firth of Clyde to the east and Loch Striven on the West, the way marked routes of the Corlarach Forest offer glorious views and a chance to spot the red squirrel and roe deer if you are lucky.  A selection of varied walking routes are described below, which start behind the Glenmorag Hotel and can be picked up from the Kilbride, Glenmorag and Ardyne carpark.
The Corlarach Loop provides a number of longer route options.  The trail connects the Kilbride carpark and Ardyne carpark (8.5 miles); it is also a long distance loop from the Kilbride carpark (16miles) and a shorter loop from the Ardyne carpark (9.5miles).  There are six recommended walk ways within the Corlarach Loop which are listed below:

Hotel Carpark:

1) Berry Burn, Kilbride car park. Duration 2.1 miles – allow 1 hour to complete.

- This route follows the forest road and narrow trails.  Gradients are gentle as you wander above the Bishop’s Glen Reservoir and stroll through a young conifer plantation, climbing to the highest point where you can appreciate the views back to Dunoon.

2) Clyde View, Hotel carpark. Duration 2.2 miles – allow 1 hour 15 mins.

- Slightly longer and a bit steeper in places than the Berry Burn Route. This trail takes you a little higher up the hill. The upper section of the path follows the contour of the hill, giving excellent views over Dunoon, Gourock and the Firth of Clyde.

3) Balgaidh Burn, Hotel carpark. Duration 3.1 miles – allow 2 hours 15 mins.

- This is the longest and most strenuous of the three walks. Climbing above the Clyde View Trail, the path takes you through a large conifer plantation and follows Berry Burn. Once the trail breaks away from the burn, the views of the Clyde, Helensburgh, Loch Long, Inverkip and Dunoon can really be appreciated.

These routes are also suitable for cycling and are situated close to the hotel. For more information check out the link below:
http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/INFD-7T2KW2

Ardyne Carpark:

4) Chinese Ponds – duration 1.5 miles, allow 1 hour 15 mins.

- The trail, in places, dates back to Victorian times. The walkway takes you on a stroll past the young native woodland, past the Ivy Bridge and the picturesque ornamental ponds. From the upper section of the trail, you can enjoy the views of the Cumbraes and Firth of Clyde.

5) Ardyne – duration 1 mile, allow 45 mins.

- Initially, this trail takes you through native woodland. As the path crosses the forest road, the steepest section climbs through the young and mature conifer plantation to the highest point. From here take time to appreciate the views across the Isle of Bute, Arran and Cumbraes.

6) Clyde Viewpoint – duration 2.1 miles, allow 1 hour 30 mins.

- Climbs higher than the previous two trails. The Clyde Viewpoint Trail offers magnificent views over the Clyde Coast, Isle of Bute, Arran and Little Cumbrae, Etrick Bay, Toward Point, Ardyne and on a clear day Ailsa Craig. Take time to stroll around the different routes or take time out at the Ornamental Chinese Ponds.

Argyll Forest Park

The Argyll Forest Park which extends from Holy Loch to Loch Lomond has numerous footpaths and cycle tracks - is the longest and most strenuous of the three walks. Climbing above the Clyde View Trail, the path takes you through a large conifer plantation and follows Berry Burn. Once the trail breaks away from the burn, the views of the Clyde, Helensburgh, Loch Long, Inverkip and Dunoon can really be appreciated.


forest path in Cowal, Scotland
This area contains the most stunning scenery in Cowal, and includes the Arrochar Alps, a range of rugged peaks north of Glen Croe which offer some of the best climbing in Argyll. The most famous of these is Ben Arthur (2,891 ft), better known as The Cobbler.

The Benmore botanic gardens

The Benmore Gardens, a specialist garden of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, is a magnificent woodland garden set amidst the mountains of the Cowal Peninsula. Its 140 acres are renowned for the wide collection of trees and shrubs, which includes over 250 species of rhododendrons. One of the most spectacular views is the avenue of Giant Redwood trees which greets every visitor on entering the garden. Throughout there are way marked walks, which lead to a beautiful pond and formal garden which display a wide variety of Himalayan and Oriental plants. Continue up the richly planted hill slopes, which rise to 450 feet to a dramatic viewpoint overlooking the Eachaig valley and the Holy Loch. Refreshments are available. The Botanic Shop sells a range of books, gifts and plants some of which can be found in the garden. Facilities are also provided for those less able, including wheelchairs.

The Pucks Glen forest and waterfall walks

Within an easy 10 minute (6 miles) drive from Glenmorag Hotel, you can also access Pucks Glen and a choice of 3 mouth watering woodland trails, Pet Friendly, sign-posted and marked out offering a sometimes tropical rainforest feel with magnificent views from the summits. The waterfalls walk features a meandering tour up the valley involving a series bridges crossing streams, cascading waterfalls and pools, particularly delightful after a strong downpour of rain!

The Glen Massan trail  

In the same area as Pucks Glen and the Benmore gardens, you will also find at the end of a delightful single track trail that Glen Massan a great place to visit, particularly for fishing, leisure walkers, pet owners and those just seeking the peace and quiet. Here you can walk for miles along the easy the going river trail; there are also more challenging forest trails for the serious walkers and plenty of good places for picnics.

 Links
www.visitscotland.com
www.forestry.gov.uk/argyllforestpark  www.walkhighlands.co.uk
http://walking.visitscotland.com/

 

 

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