A walk in the park

Date walked: 10/10/2018

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 18.3km

Ascent: 300m

The Greenock and Kelly Cut – Just a walk in the park 18.3 km 390m 5h 10/10/2018

It’s been some time since I was last out on a hill though technically this day requires little ascent needing only the minimum up and is mostly downhill.
A break in the weather on Wednesday offers a day without rain, so I grab it with baith feet to tick another item on my todo list. I`d first heard about these walks from welders, who when the shipyards died, came looking for work with Massey Ferguson.
The Greenock/ Paisley/ Ardrossan triangle gives the ideal upland area for rough walking. Mainly heather on peat, with the odd crag, planted woodland and numerous burns that fill the twenty plus reservoirs around here.
From my home to Wemyss Bay station, takes an hour, I`m hoping to catch the train to Drumfrochar. I reach the carpark just as one rolls into the terminus. Swap trainers for boots; grab my gear, then a run for the train. The £3 parking charge is offset against the price of your rail ticket, so the journey only cost me 30p. Exit at my stop and a ten minute walk up reaches the Overton cp @ 266749. A tarmac road winds up hill but I turn R at the cottage onto a gravel path. The “Greenock Cut” is a 6.5km aqueduct, carrying water from Loch Thom to the town of Greenock. The way resembles a towpath as it follows a contour line, winding round folds in the land. Some twenty-three stone bridges span the canal at various points, allowing farming access to the rising moorland beyond. Great views over the town, the Clyde and Cowal beyond. Could be a good day. The route meanders on; to pass a cleared IBM site some way below, then doubles back crossing a deep cut gully, burn and waterfall, “the hole of Spango”. From here the canal flow drops, with weeds and silt being the main culprits. Rounding the slopes of Dunrod hill shows views of Inverkip, the islands beyond while a road hints at this sections closure. The steep hillside before Shielhill farm shows moorland and bracken. Cross the gated road and walk to where an impressive spillway flowing from the Compensation Reservoir becomes the Kip burn. Arrive at the Cornalees café – for a break and food. Seen enroute – Sheep on the hill, birds and a number of brown hairy caterpillars. I pass various folk, coming my way; two walkers - a farmer with three sheepdogs on a quad bike and three separate D. of E. groups recalls my finishing of the Donalds with friends in the Ochils hills.

Leaving the café, I cross the bridge over the spillway for the 6.5km “Kelly Cut”. A similar canal construction feeding Loch Thom. An open glen of grass, heather and scrub lies ahead. The Daff reservoir shines in the sun and as they spy me, the warning cries of the resident birdlife reaches my ears. The narrow path becomes a track and then a muddy trek, for sections of the canal are in dire need of repair. It regains shape once passed the loch, a further kilometre on. The track swings away E for a final area of reeds and sheep then on to drier ground to reach a wide burn crossing. Easier going now as the glen narrows. I leave the Leapmoor forest behind as ahead, I see pylons crossing the Wenchly Top skyline. The track is now grass. A sharp R turn crosses a bridge where a good track follows a fenced concrete section of the canal. A gentle rise to a bealach finds more sheep then cows. They move to give me passage as ahead lies the Kelly reservoir. I walk up for a look, it`s smaller than the Daff. A break, then take the dams access road down the Kelly Glen; the open brown hills give way to trees, two houses for sale, a farm and lastly a caravan site. I`d intended to skirt this but the cat bit in me goes for a looksee. Lots of work going on, vans for sale, lease, hire and repair. I make it thro the site to the station, car then home. Seen enroute Cows and sheep. Lots of waterfowl and honking geese, a disgruntled fisherman who, having been out since dawn, had caught nowt. Although I’ve enjoyed my walk, in kindred spirit, we commiserate - a shitty day feels the same no matter what you’ve been doing.

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Activity: Mountaineer
Mountain: The Cobbler
Place: Skye
Gear: Yeti gaiters
Member: Kilmarnock Mountaineering Club
Ideal day out: A scramble in Glencoe or the Ben

Munros: 282
Corbetts: 222
Grahams: 141
Donalds: 89
Wainwrights: 39
Hewitts: 46
Sub 2000: 7
Long Distance routes: River Ayr Way   

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Joined: Apr 08, 2012
Last visited: Oct 16, 2018
Total posts: 134 | Search posts