Forest of Birse - Glencat Circular

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Starting at the car park at the end of the unclassified Forest of Birse road (opposite a tiny church), the walk soon leads across a ford and past some arable land. It then starts to rise past some trees and onto heather-clad moorland.
The route leads to a farm and soon rises through some rough pastureland to a short stretch of open woodland. After leaving the wood, the walk continues slowly upwards again along a narrow heather-lined track, with great views down into the valley of Glencat. Towards the end of this section the track is a bit overgrown but eventually leads to a Land-Rover track (The Fungle Road, one of the ancient drove roads leading south out of Deeside).
This maintained track leads up past a shooting bothy before starting to descend to the Forest of Birse again. More wonderful panoramic views are provided on the way.
The route is then forced to make a detour past Birse Castle. It passes close to a stream for a short stretch before crossing some pastureland and eventually leading back to the car park.

Scotland - Northeast Scotland - Aberdeenshire - Deeside and Glen Tanar

Features

Birds, Flowers, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Moor, Mountains, Wildlife, Woodland
20/11/2014 - Colin Young

I would recommend following the newly made-up track mentioned by Paul, as it avoids crossing the ford at Waymark 3. It was wet weather when we went by the original route recently and the less sprightly members of the party (i.e. me) could have had difficulty leaping the burn below the ford - which was impassable. The bridge over the burn below Birse Castle at 516902 has split in the middle and fallen into the burn. It can be crossed with great care but may not survive another good going flood!

24/08/2014 - Paul Kingdom

Great walk. There is now a well made up track from the car park to the right before the cattle grid leading through ferns by the edge of a wood to a point on the track between 3 and 4. We preferred to continue up the main track at 6 to where it joins the track at the top. As noted in the previous comment the gate is padlocked but it is easy to go over a low point in the dry stone wall to the right of the gate. Carrying on the well defined track at 7 up to Carnferg adds 100m or so of ascent but gives some fantastic views. The climb is very steady.

13/06/2012 - Colin Young

The track at waymark 5 is now muddy and rutted by tractor access. The first time I did this walk I turned off too soon on the ascent described at waymark 6. This took me to a pleasantly graded path lower down the hill than intended - but it made for a pleasant - slightly shorter - walk. I think the fork at waymark 6 might be more than half way up? The track eventually veers left towards the gate (beyond which is a notice to keep dogs on a lead). The gate is padlocked so you have to climb. The track at waymark 7 is much more obvious when you look along the line and see it dug into the hill. At Waymark 16 I think the right of way goes through the farm. It is part of the Fungle which was modified in agreement with the owners of Birse Castle.

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24.3 Miles