Carn a'Chlamain by bike via Forest Lodge
A simple hill for my first user report.
I did this one alone so had plenty time to stop and take photos.
Set your Satnav to Old Bridge of Tilt and once there, as it is such a small place, you can't miss the sign for the Glen Tilt Car Park.
Please consider leaving a donation, otherwise it is free to park. I arrived at 0830 on 13th August and there were still loads of spaces. The same when I came back late afternoon.
I didn't really know how I was going to get on as I hadn't been on my bike for the best part of a year. With the guide telling me I could save 3hrs 40min cycling 23 of the 31Km route, I thought I'd give it a try.
I got my kit ready and bike good to go and set off at 0845hrs:
IMG_20190813_084912 by Ewen Brown, on Flickr
Leave the car park via the only entry / exit and you will immediately see the gates to the estate directly across the road, to the right of the old Gate Lodge:
IMG_20190813_085255 by Ewen Brown, on Flickr
Take this route and it's probably worth paying attention to the signs. It would also be worth checking ahead for any planned Rifle Shoots or stalking in the area:
IMG_20190813_085456 by Ewen Brown, on Flickr
The route is largely made of a good estate road, the continued use of many vehicles has made the route smooth for the cyclist. I did have to stop for a few cars along the way but it is quite safe. The route passes through areas of moss covered oak, avenues of beech, open areas of grazing and also takes you over several bridges where you can good views into the glen and the river Tilt itself:
IMG_20190813_091747 by Ewen Brown, on Flickr
You really can't go wrong, just follow the route, there are no wrong turns to take and it follows the river all the way to your starting point of the walk. The first landmark you will pass is a SEPA monitoring station on your left:
IMG_20190813_143957 by Ewen Brown, on Flickr
and in no time at all, you will see Marble Lodge on your right and you will know you are more than half way there:
IMG_20190813_143547 by Ewen Brown, on Flickr
You cross a bridge soon after Marble Lodge and after that the road isn't used so much and is a little rougher than before but still perfectly good and easy to cycle on. Your next landmark is Forest Lodge:
IMG_20190813_141317 by Ewen Brown, on Flickr
I hadn't read my map properly and knew I had to cycle to the end of the wood. I passed through the gate I should have stopped at and added 4Km to my day but soon realised my mistake and headed back. To be clear, stop at the end of the woodland that Forest Lodge is set it. Confusingly, its the woodland further north that is called Forest Lodge Wood.
Stop at the gate at the end of the wood and leave your bike here:
IMG_20190813_135035 by Ewen Brown, on Flickr
Pass through the gate and turn left up the line of trees to another gate:
IMG_20190813_103640 by Ewen Brown, on Flickr
Again, go through this and turn left and follow the trees up to a fence. It looks like the old path used to go up the left of this fenceline but the newer path goes up the right. Wooden slats prevent you crossing at the bottom:
IMG_20190813_133740 by Ewen Brown, on Flickr
So rather then damage these trying to cross, take the path up the hill to the style at the top end of the fence and cross there:
MVIMG_20190813_104603 by Ewen Brown, on Flickr
The stalkers path now begins and it Zig Zags its way up the steep section until it flattens out on a heather and peat covered moorland (the path is still well defined). Continue on until you approach the ridge and the summit comes into view:
IMG_20190813_120817 by Ewen Brown, on Flickr
A quick dash over some frost shattered rock takes you to the top where you get fantastic views:
IMG_20190813_121955 by Ewen Brown, on Flickr
PANO_20190813_122106.vr by Ewen Brown, on Flickr
Return the way you came but take care as the eye draws you to take the bulldozed track to the right, rather than original path to the left. It would take you back a long, long way from where you left your bike!
I got back to my bike and really wasn't looking forward to the cycle back but it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. The gently downhill gradient that you didn't really notice going uphill on the way in will keep you rolling along with plenty sections to freewheel. There were 4 or 5 sections where an uphill effort has to be made but you will be back before you know it. I arrived back at the car park at 1515hrs.
2 hr cycle in (including my mistake and retracing my steps)
2.5 hours up and down the hill
30min lunch once I was back down and having a break before the cycle back.
1.5 hr cycle back to the car
The guide says just short of 6 hours and I'm on the unfit side of things so I thought it was pretty good going.
A really enjoyable day, I hope this helps if you decide to take your bike.
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