Like most of the country, I had been champing at the bit, to get out in the hills post-lockdown. Yesterdays weather suddenly gave me the perfect opportunity to finally get to Corserine, the second highest peak in the Galloway Hills.
I had originally planned to complete the circuit as suggested by walk highlands, but having been confined for so long, the route finder in me wanted to try something a little more adventurous.
I parked up at Forrest Lodge. There was ample parking and it was very easy to find. The start of the walk was very well signposted with way markers, and very little map work was required. The weather was cloudy but bright, the ridge itself only just dusted with cloud with the promise of clearing in the gentle breeze.
The signposted forestry tracks were easy enough to walk passing over small burns and through thickets of forestry plantation/ I encountered only a couple of people on the way, both sets seemed surprised at seeing others out walking.
The tracks eventually led out into moorland, and a slightly worn path showed the way. It was excellent to feel that burning sensation in the thighs again. I stopped repeatedly to admire the surrounding views (and have a cheeky slice of malt loaf). The mist to my delight had cleared and the Rhinns became as clear as day. Out of the breeze, it became muggy and flies started to circle around.
I kept plodding on, before finally reaching Henneseys Shelter, a large cairn commanding excellent view. However, this was not my target, and after slipping on a fleece as the wind had picked up considerably, a headed for the prominent trig point.
The views were VAST! a 360 panoramic view was just what my lockdown brain needed. Merrick was clearly visible, as was the two peaks near my home in the south (Screel and Bengairn). I met another couple up top, and after a socially distanced chat and cuppa, they informed me that a group of about 20 strong had just passed and were heading in the same direction as I towards Meikle Millyea.
Not really wanting to share the path with that many people, I bid goodbye to the couple and headed in the opposite direction towards a point on my map named Carlins Cairn, which from a distance looked nice and quiet.
The path up was very easy, a beautiful glen fell away to my right with views towards the Moffat hills. I reached the cairn, where a robust shelter had been built, perfect for lunch out of the wind. Despite the sunshine, the wind was chilly, and after my traditional, 'Brew with a View', I looked at my map.
I decided to head down to the glen I had seen earlier and follow the small burn flowing through. I tracked this burn on my left, the going was a little boggy, but keeping to the tussocks, I negotiated an easy enough route round the base of the Craignelder peak. I continued along a long since deteriorated fence line, carefully trudging through the tussocky ground before encountering an old stone dyke. Checking my map, I traced its course until it linked with the forestry tracks at the start of the walk.
The afternoon sun was beating down now, and the cool shade of the conifer plantation was much needed. It was not easy underfoot, but I revelled in the challenge being given. I eventually linked up with the forestry tracks, and then enjoyed a gentle and pleasant stroll back towards the start.
This was an excellent walk, and just what the mind, body and soul needed. I would thoroughly recommend it, and one day soon I'll be back to walk the Rhinns properly, but for now this was an excellent appetiser!
Travel and Coronavirus
Temporary Coronavirus restrictions and travel advice applies until 2nd November, when new guidance will be introduced.
Click for details
Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.