|Clatteringshaws Loch Forests
|Varied mountain biking in lovely scenery.
||Green route 14 miles. Purple route 15 miles. Blue route 9 miles. Short red 4 miles. It's also possible to bike many other routes in the area.
||Red route moderate. Purple route difficult. Blue route difficult. Short red difficult.
||Green two hours, Purple three hours. Blue two hours. Short red 45 minutes.
|How to get there:
||No public transport that carries bikes. The nearest towns are Newton Stewart to the west and St John's Town of Dalry to the east.
||Generally well constructed dirt roads, there are some very fast descents.
||(O.S. Landranger Map 77).
Clatteringshaws Loch Route (Green)
Left from the visitor centre (grid ref 553 767) and bike north-east on the A712 for a mile. Turn left again on to a narrow road at the green marker.
Ignore the first left turn after a mile but take the left turn after this to enter forest on a dirt road. This descends to the loch side, then follows the River Dee.
After a further three miles turn left and cross the river and climb to a T junction - turn left here. After a climb there is a fast descent over a mile to another junction to meet the purple route; turn left again here.
Follow the surfaced road back to the loch then follow the loch shore back to the public road. Turn left on to the A712.
Craignell Hill Route (purple)
Start at the access road at the south end of Clatteringshaws Loch, this is one mile south of the visitor centre; follow the purple marker post to enter the forest. The first four miles are on a tarmac surface, this ends near where the green and purple routes diverge, turn left at this point.
From here there is a steady climb over a mile and a half as the route travels south-west to get round Craignell Hill. You pass some open areas with the crags of Milfore Hill on your right.
There is a fast descent, then some further ups and downs, Go round Black Loch and meet the red route (turn left). When you meet the blue route turn right to return to the A712.
Deer Range Route (blue)
This is a slightly more difficult route following the Old Edinburgh Road, now a forest track. Return is on the A712. Best done anticlockwise as this ensures the steep off-road section is a descent.
Start at the access road at the south end of Clatteringshaws Loch, but keep left this time following blue markers. There is a gentle climb over a mile and a half to the summit at 250m, then a steep descent to where the routes merge near Black Loch. Turn left here to return to the A712.
Benniguinea Hill Route (short red)
A 200 metre climb over two miles, then return the way you came. The view from the top is pretty good.
Link routes to other areas
There are other marked mountain bike routes in Glen Trool Forest and Kirroughtree Forest. These can be reached on the link routes shown on the map. The link route to Glen Trool follows part of the Southern Upland Way; follow thistle symbol signs. You will need to walk for a mile.
|Where to stay:
||No accommodation nearby. There is a youth hostel at Newton Stewart (Minigaff 01671-402211). It is also possible to stay at Galloway Sailing Centre on Loch Ken which has hostel type accommodation (01644-420626). There are lots of
B&Bs in Newton Stewart, phone the tourist office (01671-402431). There is also a bothy (rough shelter) near loch Dee (see map) where you can stay free of charge (bring sleeping bag, stove, food). Camping in the forest would also
be a possibility.
|Where to eat & drink:
||Most pure pubs in the area are a bit basic. There is a good Forestry Commission tea room by Clatteringshaws Loch at the visitor centre (red square on map).
||Davidsons Cycles, 96 Victoria Street, Newton Stewart. 01671-402031.
||No Further Information Available
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