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Corserine ridge - great views if you are in luck

Corserine ridge - great views if you are in luck


Postby Milo12 » Sun Jun 05, 2022 10:25 am

Route description: Corserine and the Rhinns of Kells, Forrest Lodge

Corbetts included on this walk: Corserine

Donalds included on this walk: Corserine, Meikle Millyea, Milldown

Date walked: 03/06/2022

Time taken: 3 hours

Distance: 17 km

Ascent: 870m

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There is something about the name Corserine that attacted me. It sounds very different from so many of the other names of hills that you come across. It wasn't far from where I was staying and so I decided to go for it.

The day started off with impressive variations of grey in the sky. All previous days had turned nicer later in the day and I decided to take a gamble and only start a bit later in the day.

The drive towards Forest Lodge is mostly single track and very scenic, coming with balcony like sections with great views over the surrounding country side. I did not meet a single car on the way in or out and even on the parking there wasn't anybody else. Everything was very well taken care of however and the two picnic tables by a little old stonebridge would come in handy at the end of the walk.

The walk starts off with long sections on forestry roads. I always find this a bit soul destroying, but there was no other way in. The roads are quite windy giving the impression that they are leading to different hills all the time. That does make for a bit of guessing which hill I am actually here to climb! After an old stonebridge the trail gets narrower and gives more of the feeling of a woodland walk. This does not last long, however, and the woodlands end to give way to the open hill. A solid grassy and rocky trail leads up to the top. It is mostly a gentle climb that only gets steep in a few places. The sky had opened up to allow for some sun to come through and the patches of blue sky looked promising. The ridge looked very even from here (I was only to realise later that this was just the angle from here - it does come with quite a bit of up and down!!!).

A few very faint slithers or clouds started to crawl across the ridge towards Corserine - which made for some nice photo ops. What I did not realise is just how much of a cloudloving top this is! Within 15 min of the little slithers coming literally out of nowhere and crawling across the top the whole mountain top was covered in thick clouds leaving me with hardly 10m to see! As the top is fairly flat, I even had to take out my GPS to locate the cairn and the trigpoint at the top. What had started off so nicely was really turning into quite a disappointment now! I couldn't believe that we had gone from literally clear views to nothing to see within 15 min!

Nothing to be done about it - I established direction towards the ridge and set off. The ground had become decidedly boggy now - clearly the very nice and solid path up to Corserine had been a teaser only. I picked up what looked like a trail though and kept following that along the whole rest of the ridge. By the time I reached the next hilltop on the ridge the clouds had started to lift again and I could now see the surrounds below the cloudcover. The views are really quite nice and are very different into all directions - be it towards Merrick, Cairnsmore of Fleet or across the Galloway Forest Park towards the Southeast.

The ridge becomes quite varied as well now with rocks and knobs dotted across it, steeper climbs towards the remaining tops, long stonewalls and even forest plantations creeping up across the hillside almost to the top of the ridge. The clouds had magically lifted by the time I reached Milldown and blue sky and sunshine made for a very enjoyable walk across the rest of the ridge. Corserine decided to keep hiding in the cloud though...Well, they do say one should focus on the way ahead ...

The last part up to Meikle Millyea is a bit steeper. It is the last hill on the ridge though and the rest of the way would be downhill. A last moment at the top before I head down along the stonewall towards the forests in the valley. The views ahead and even the ridge itsef make for a magnificient walk down. The GPS route indicated that I had to follow the stonewall essentially and I did not bother with the details. Big mistake! Within minutes I was in really deep bogs - a quick check on the GPS indicated that I had to be on the left side of the wall, not the right side. Moving over to the left I found myself quickly on a very solid grassy path that only rarely got boggy for the rest of the way down. I do have to say that i thoroughly enjoyed the views and the way down along the wall.

At some point, the trails leaves the stonewall and from there it gets very steep with a small scrambly section that needs careful negotation. Nothing too bad however, although probably tricky to do in wet weather or after a lot of rain. Once I reach the forest, the rest is walking on forestry roads again. Luckily this time it feels a bit quicker than on the way out. The last section is through quite nice woodlands even before the trail ends up by the parking lot again. With the fine weather and the sun out the picnic tables were a treat - just what I needed before hopping into the car again.

I really enjoyed this walk and would definitely recommend, in spite of the long stretches on forestry road at the beginning and the end of the walk. The ridge has brilliant views, is very varied walking and in fine weather and with the ground not too wet makes for a fantastic day out.
Attachments

2022-06-03_792815455_Corserine and the Rhinns of Kells, Forest Lodge, Galloway.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

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Walking on the forestry roads...
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View at the way ahead when you are stepping out of the woodlands
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Views on the way up to Corserine
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Not much to be seen at the top of Corserine
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Views on the way down from Corserine as the clouds are starting to lift a bit
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Views back towards Corserine - still not wanting to let go of the clouds
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Views from Milldown
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Views to the Northwest once the clouds had disappeared
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View back towards Corserine - still under the darkest clouds
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Following the stone wall on the way down. Lovely views ahead
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View back at the whole ridge before entering the woodlands again
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The last section through the woodlands before the car park
Milo12
Walker
 
Posts: 79
Munros:25   Corbetts:14
Fionas:10   Donalds:6
Sub 2000:21   Hewitts:13
Wainwrights:8   Islands:3
Joined: Mar 20, 2022

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