Hare Cairn and Backwater Reservoir circuit

Sub 2000s: Hare Cairn

Date walked: 25/01/2022

Time taken: 3.3 hours

Distance: 16km

Ascent: 478m

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Picked out another sub-2000 for today, a more local one this time Hare Cairn at Backwater Reservior. It was a quiet walk, there was one other car in the car park by the dam but aside from a couple of cars that passed on the return I didn't see anyone!

Fallen trees opposite the dam

We set off following the road alongside the reservoir, pretty simple and a walk I've done a number of times previously. Dogs were put on their lead when entering a fenced in area with a sign asking for dogs to be on lead because of livestock. No livestock in there but they stayed on their lead anyway. The road ended and became a grassy farm track, not far along this was a signpost directing to Glendamph. There used to be a footpath running through the trees, went up to have a look and there is no footpath storm Arwen has caused considerable damage here knocking down all but a line of trees at the edge. The damage was only really seen when on the other side of the reservoir though. I suspect the footpath here will be gone for a long time!

Tarmac road by the reservoir

Backwater Reservoir

Farm track

We returned to the signpost and walked around the edge of the field heading downhill towards the reservoir. There is a grassy vehicle track running through the field and I know there are usually sheep on the other side of the wooded bit so took a guess that there would be a farm route somewhere and there was at an open farm gate. There was clearly a lot of damage here too, but being an access track it has been cleared and provided a way though though it was muddy in places and there were branches everywhere.

The track through the fallen trees

It's a bit muddy in places!

Reaching the field on the other side we cut diagonally uphill towards the corner where we could rejoin the main path after navigating over a fence. There was a gap at the side which I'm pretty sure the dogs could have got through, but they decided it was better to jump on the wall and jump over that way. We followed the Glendamph path across the grassy slope, a few sheep dotted around, until a faint grassy ATV track forked off to the left heading towards a drystone wall. We followed this to the wall and from there started heading uphill at an angle. There were faint tracks to follow in places.

View from the ascent

Looking up the glen

We reached a path heading diagonally uphill across the slope in the direction of Hare Cairn and started following that, the path forking and other paths appearing alongside but taking us in the right direction until all the paths disappeared amongst the heather. From here though we could see the fence we were aiming for and headed towards it. I'd read on a previous report that there was a hole cut in the deer fence at the corner and sure enough there it was! Climbed though no bother and encouraged the dogs to jump through after me. A line of fence posts and what is left of an ATV track lead from there to the summit cairn, just need to avoid a few pools of water!

The promised hole in the fence!

The girls at the summit

The fenceposts and faint track we followed up

We could see down to Backwater, and across to Crock, but low cloud was limiting much of the views so we soon retraced our steps back to the gap in the fence. As it turns out there is a clearer ATV track here running alongside the deer fence so we followed that along the ridge. If only we'd gone up a bit further on the ascent we'd have came across it on the way up! Where the heather became grass and the slope eased we turned and started heading downhill. My initial plan had been to return the same way, but I had a change of plan and decided we would walk back on the other side of the reservoir making a complete circuit. I aimed towards the house that can be seen opposite, there is a bridge there that crosses the burn to reach the field. It's boggy going especially in the last bit before reaching the bridge.

Moss jumping back through the hole in the fence

The little cottage we were aiming for

Looking up the glen

The cottage and the bridge

Across the bridge we headed up the slope to reach a wooden gate that opens onto a farm track. We followed the track passed a couple of farms and houses to reach the tarmac road which leads all the way back to the dam and car park where my car was the only one there.

Very helpful sign!

Looking back at the flattened trees

Back at the dam

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Location: Angus
Activity: Wanderer

Munros: 52
Corbetts: 16
Grahams: 10
Donalds: 2
Sub 2000: 35
Islands: 25

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Joined: Feb 12, 2015
Last visited: Jan 25, 2022
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