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A popular day in the Kilpatrick Hills
by McMole » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:04 pm
Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Duncolm
Date walked: 19/01/2020
Time taken: 4 hours
Distance: 14.8 km
Ascent: 670mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
A good forecast on the Saturday demanded that I go walking on the Sunday. After contemplating the two and a half hour drive to a Marilyn or two west of Dumfries, I decided instead on a later start and shorter drive to Duncolm, a Marilyn just north of the Erskine Bridge. I reached there at about 10am to find there was still room in the rapidly filling Kilpatrick Braes car park. When I returned after my walk it was overflowing. Obviously a very popular place for a weekend stroll. Over the course of my walk I must have seen over one hundred folk plus numerous dogs.As I started along the road into the hills I noticed that steel rail barriers had been planted to stop parking on the verge and pavement near the gasworks, and the temporary car park just beyond there was now firmly padlocked shut. It had been created when gas pipeline work last year had closed the Kilpatrick Braes car park. I joined the procession of folk of all ages heading up the track. It appeared many planned to turn back before the short descent to the dam at Loch Humphrey reservoir. Even fewer continued past the dam as the road became a track which had an especially muddy though short section as it passed through gates at a deer fence after about 800m. I essentially followed the Walk Highland route - "Duncolm and the Slacks, Old Kilpatrick"- with an added diversion on the way up to bag Fynlock Hill - a Tump. After that I followed the path over Middle Duncolm before climbing to the trig point on top of Duncolm. All this as the day had gradually turned from overcast to bright sunshine. On my return I met a few more walkers and once past the dam and the pylons took the left fork to The Slacks. At its trig point I stopped for coffee and a snack in company with several others and their dogs. From there, still following the Walk Highland route, I took the path south over the heathery ridges and past, not over, the stile. The fence that it was erected for no longer exists. From there I took the mostly obvious downhill route back to the main track. I think some of the lower section might not be so obvious when the vegetation is at its full height. That final section didn't appear to be very popular and I think I found why when I had to climb over a padlocked gate in a deer fence. From a later look at Google's aerial view another track crosses the same fence line about 100m to the west (also on the 1:25000 OS map) It looks to be more popular and might be a better choice since any gate there is less likely to be padlocked. With several other start points and many other paths to select I'll add the Kilpatrick Hills to my list for a possible return.
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