Tried & Tested Routes

These routes have been tried and tested by group members.  At time of print these routes were as described below,  but please keep in mind, there may have been environmental factors changing these slightly.  Scotland is full of wonderful countryside, most of which can be accessed free of charge, so get out there and have fun!!

ARGYLE AND THE ISLES

CRAOBH HAVEN CIRCULAR 

SOUTH OF OBAN
This is a great wee circular route, with a good mix of spectacular views, suitable paths and private, secluded forestry.
Follow directions for Craobh Haven, enter the village and drive between the two rows of houses, past the old village store on your left and on past the holiday cottages (all multi coloured).  The road comes to an end with a large parking area.  From here you have the choice to follow the path to the right to explore the peninsula (approx 2k out and back), but for a good stretch take the single track up the hill, past the houses and then turn right (possibly sign posted for Lunga Stables).  This opens up onto a wider road, although it is car friendly it is more like a forest track, continue all the way on this track, up hill past Lunga Stables http://www.lungaridingstables.co.uk/
and Lunga House
The track starts to go down hill slightly, keep your eyes peeled for a road on the left hand side, approximately 1k past the stables and turn down this, run all the way along this road over the undulating track which will bring you out at an old barn.  Pass by this barn, down a steep pot holed road and turn left; this brings you out onto the main entrance road for Craobh Haven.  Follow this road back to your parking place.
The circular route is approximately 10k, suitable for canicross, bikejore, scooters but sadly not rigs due to the single track start. Last visit October 2012.
Just off the A816
This is a beautiful route south of Oban.  The route flanks the Oude Dam and brings you deep into the forest.  There is limited parking just before the dam on the right hand side just prior to going over a small bridge, you need to be on the ball as this is not sign posted.  The track is suitable for canicross, bikejore, scootering and possibly a rig as well.
There is a fork in the track roughly at the 2k mark, if you take the left hand fork you will eventually come out over the stunning time share village, Loch Melfort Village
Alternatively if you take the right hand fork, please be aware that the track becomes quite over grown and has an old fallen tree across it, however it brings you out on to a wider forest track, bear left and it will guide you to higher ground with fantastic views.
Both these routes are an out and back I’m afraid, no circulars that I am aware of.  Distance wise …. you can be out for as long or short a time as you like; just don’t get lost!  Plenty of streams for drinking water along the way!  Last visit October 2012.

SUTHERLAND’S GROVE, GLEN DUBH, OBAN

A new route tried out by Stewart and I. We parked at Sutherland’s Grove at Glen Dubh, 1 km past Barcaldine on the A828. If you are up in the Oban direction you should give it a try. We had lots of fun and the dogs loved it too. The trails were all marked and there is a good mix of distances. Some steep climbs but plenty of flats for recovery! There is ample parking and a picnic area. There are also Cycle paths marked out too! Go on give it try and you may even see the resident forest Trolls if You’re lucky! Last visit January 2012.

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/website/recreation.nsf/LUWebDocsByKey/ScotlandArgyllandButeBarcaldineSutherlandsGroveSutherlandsGrovecarpark

DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY

GALLABERRY TRAIL, LOCKERBIE

One of many country walks in this area.  Maps can be picked up from the public Library in Lockerbie.  I think it was approx 3 miles and was a mix of soft underfoot trails and quiet country roads.  At the time we went,  some of the riverbank was slightly overgrown, so we had to walk a small section.  The route was very flat and would be ideal for beginner Cani-crossers.  There is a small car park at the beginning.  Last visit August 2011.

CRAIGIEBURN FORREST, MOFFAT

Scenic mixed terrain venue, suitable for Cani-crossing, Bike-Joring and Scootering.  You can do a variety of distances and again Maps can be picked up at the local Tourist information office or Library. There are some good steep inclines, declines and flat ground, so something for everyone. Once at the top of the view point, there is a small bench where you can get a breather if required.  There is also a small car park at the start.  Last visit August 2011.

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/website/recreation.nsf/LUWebDocsByKey/ScotlandDumfriesshireForestsoftheSouthernUplandsCraigieburnForest

AYRSHIRE AND ARRAN

EGLINTON COUNTRY PARK

NEAR IRVINE

Located on the west coast of Ayrshire this country park has great facilities for a day out.  The trails are suitable for bike-jor, scootering cani-cross and if you went very early in the morning or later at night you could get round on a rig.

It can be busy during peak hours especially if it’s a nice day, but most of the  trails are wide enough to pass people without causing any issues.  The trails are a mix of tarmac, forest trails, dirt paths and grass runs and there is a variety of routes which you can take ranging from a couple of km to 10km.  The park also links up with the National Cycling Network (Sustrans Route 73) which will let you increase the miles if need be.  There is a map to download on the website.

http://www.north-ayrshire.gov.uk/EglintonPark/EPHome.aspx

The river runs throughout the park, giving ample opportunity for the dogs to drink and for the humans there is a cafe and toilets in the visitor centre.  For the kids there is a great wee playground too!  Last visit October 2012.

DEAN CASTLE COUNTRY PARK, KILMARNOCK 

A beautiful country park set in the middle of the town of Kilmarnock, suitable for Canicrossers of all levels. The main loop is 5 km, but you can add in extra and neighbouring parks and get a good 10km route.  The paths are a mix of soft woodland trails and tarmac.  There is ample parking, a cafe, visitors centre, Castle, play area, animal farm picnic area’s, so a good day out for all.  Remember to say “hi” to Scott the Clydesdale as you run past! Last visit October 2012.

http://www.deancastle.com/

BURN ANNE, GALSTON

One of my favourite hill training routes, on the outskirts of an Ayrshire village, with a river that the dogs can easily access, wooded paths and open hillside, it makes a great training run. There are also some geocaches along the way. The route is probably best suited to intermediate or advanced runners as there are very steps, styles and livestock that you need to combat.  Distance wise you will cover 7.5km over steep inclines and declines.  There is no car park at the beginning, however you can get parked easily in the village and walk to the start. From Cessnock Road, walk away from the village and when you come to a fork at the end of the road, take the right fork.  Approximately 50 yards along on the  left hand side you will see a gated entry in to Burnhouse Brae Wood, follow the wooded path and take care running up the steps.  The woods are usually very quiet, but take care for other users, when turning the sharp corners.  You’ll come to a road got straight across and over the river, on the left enter the gate into Cessnock Wood. Again follow the wooded path, you’ll come to a small bridge, but don’t cross it yet, head up to the right.  At the next gate turn left and on to a country road.  Any time I have been I have never met any traffic, however please take caution just in case.  You’ll pass some houses on your left, then at the bottom of the hill on the right you’ll see another gate on your right signed Burn Anne Historical Walk, head in here and follow the path and left at the top of the steps  There is a nice wee picnic area on your left.  You’ll come to a style so jump over that and up through the trees on to the hillside.Go straight on past the wooded sign for Target Wood via Wildlife Site.  Follow the path to the top of the hill, where you will get great views of the Ayrshire Valley, there is a small picnic area here too.  Once you’ve caught your breath head back down following the white sign for Covenantors Site.  The grass on this path was a bit overgrown when I went last but if you follow the fence line and through the first gate, then the gate slightly to the right of the path, you can’t go wrong.  At the bottom turn left and retrace your steps back to the road.  Once reaching the road turn left over the bridge and 50 yards up the road there will be a gate back into Cessnock Woods on your left.  Follow the trail and cross the bridge turning right.  You should now recognise this bridge from the one I told you not to cross earlier , so just retrace your steps back to the car.  It is possible to do this route in reverse by parking in the car park at Gibbs of Galston, where you can also buy dog food and treats.  If you turn left on leaving the car park, run up the for a good 500 yards, taking care of the traffic and you will see a sign for Irvine Valley walks heading in to the left.  This brings you in at the top of Burn Anne.  I’m happy to take people round, if you fancy it let me know!

http://www.gibbofgalston.co.uk/

WHITELEE WINDFARM

Whitlee Windfarm is situated just outside Eaglesham.  It is a fantastic venue for all skill levels and will give you a good work out. You can do any distance from a few KM to marathon distances.  The paths are of a stoney and dirt construction. There are some sheep and the odd cattle grid so care should be taken with these.  As for what sports you can do, well pretty much anything, all though it can be busy at the weekends, so go out with the usual peak times if carrying out Bike-Jor or using a rig.  A fantastic mountain bike skills course is also set to be finished in April 2013.  For after the run in business hours there is a visitor centre, where you can learn about the windfarm, visit the cafe and there is also showers and toilets.  There are a few signposts in the windfarm but you can also download a map from the website. Last visit November 2012.

http://www.whiteleewindfarm.com

IRVINE BEACH

Situated in the west coast of Scotland, you will find the vast Ayrshire coast line.  There are many areas to run and and explore in but one of the best is Irvine Beach.  It is a clean sandy beach with accessible dune paths which are great for training.  Distance wise you can do 10km to Barrasie and back but you could continue on if you felt like it.  If you time it right, around the tide, you could even, bike-jor, scooter or use a rig on the hard sand.  The beach is sometimes used by horseriders but it is large enough that everyone can do as they please 🙂  There are toilets at the main car park and lots of pubs and cafe’s nearby if required.  On a clear day you also get great views of Arran.  Last visit November 2012

http://www.ayrshirecoastalpath.org/

LOCH LOMOND, THE TROSSACHS AND THE FORTH VALLEY

MUGDOCK COUNTRY PARK

NEAR MILNGAVIE

Situated just north of Milngavie in Central Scotland, Mugdock Country Park is a superb place to go for canicross, Scootering and Bike-jor.  However it can get busy so for bike-jor and scootering it would be best to go outwith the peak times.  You can do a variety of distances and maps are available to buy for a small cost from the gift shop.  If you are feeling energetic you can also join up with the West Highland Way!

There is a mix of surfaces for the trails, ranging from forest trails to wooden board walks to stoney paths.  The park benefits lots of streams and Lochs so there is ample water for the dogs, however care should be taken in the summer as there has been known to be an occurrence of blue algae in the water.  The park rangers are very good though and put notices up when this happens.

Other facilities in the park are a craft shop, theatre, Charlie’s Cafe bar, Stables Tea room and Caulders Garden Centre.  As well as these there are barbecue areas, toilets and a brand new kids play park.  Last visit September 2012.

http://www.mugdock-country-park.org.uk/

http://www.west-highland-way.co.uk/

The Carron Valley

The Carron Valley is in a spectacular area of the country, easily accessible from the east and west coast.  It is known for it’s challenging mountain bike tracks and is the home of Duncarron Medieval Village. The mountain bike tracks are marked out on site and more info can be found below, some surfaces are quite stoney for dogs paws, so if you are bike-joring you may want to run your dogs in boots.  The bike tracks are busy so extreme care should always be taken of others around you.  As well as the mountain bike tracks there are also many forest tracks suitable for walking and canicrossing and some you could even get a rig on.  As for distance you can go for as far or as short as you like.  There are toilets on site and nearby villages for refreshments.  Situated near to the main car park is the upcoming site of Duncarron Medieval Village, being built by the Clanranald Trust which when built is set to be a great tourist attraction for Scotland.  Last visit November 2012

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/website/forestry.nsf/byunique/infd-6p6kbl

http://www.duncarron.com/dun1/the-project

QUEEN ELIZABETH FOREST PARK

ABERFOYLE

Situated in central Scotland this area is one of our favourite destinations!  There are so many routes here, I don’t know where we would start and it is a destination for every sport imaginable!  There are a variety of trails ranging from a few miles to marathon distances, more details can be found here

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/qefp

And also the Tourist information centre has a selection of maps available.  There are various visitor centres and gift shops dotted about.  But a must for the visit is the dog friendly pub The Forth Inn!  Also worth a visit is the butchers on the corner of the main car park both of these are in Aberfoyle.  Whatever distance you are looking to do, you will find it in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and you could even take in a few Munro’s! Last visit October 2012

GREATER GLASGOW AND THE CLYDE VALLEY

POLLOK PARK

GLASGOW

Pollok Park is a city park based in the South Side of Glasgow.  It is a great location ideal for canicross, but I would say it is too busy for other sports.  The surfaces are a mix of tarmac and forest trails and the park benefits from good parking along with some visitor attractions e.g. Pollok House and the Burrell Collection.  There is lots of wildlife to be seen as well as a field of Highland cows and a couple of Clydesdale Horses!  There is loads of dog accessible water through out the park and there is a cafe for humans within the Burrell Collection.  Distance wise taking in all the loops you could easily get a 10km run and if your dog is well behaved to run alongside traffic (on a pavement) you could join up with the Nearby Bellahouston Park. Last visit October 2012.

http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/en/residents/parks_outdoors/parks_gardens/pollokcountrypark.htm

http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/en/residents/parks_outdoors/parks_gardens/bellahoustonpark.htm

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