You can do this walk starting either at Bargrennan or Glentrool. By beginning at Bargrennan and going anti clockwise you start the walk with the riverside path. This also means that you follow the Southern Upland Way in the ‘normal’ direction.
From the layby at Bargrennan you follow the Southern Upland Way signs over the road barrier and into the forest. Climb up through mixed woodland until you have views down to the River Cree on your right. There are many sections of narrow twisting path through trees, steep steps and small streams that you need to step over. This makes for an interesting walk but you need to have good boots and be prepared for mud. It is worth the effort as you may see treecreepers, red squirrels or crossbills if you are lucky.
After about a mile the path crosses a small road and after this the walk gets easier underfoot. Turning away from the river you soon get to a forest road which you join for a while, continuing to follow the Southern Upland Way waymarks. Once you are off the track you will find once again a river on your right and this time it flows towards you. This is the Water of Minnoch and it is worth keeping an eye out for otter playing in the many pools and eddys of this picturesque stretch of water. The path meanders away from the water in places before coming back to it again. It is worth taking a look down the river to your right as you get back to the river. There is a small bridge known locally as the Roman Bridge but in reality it is probably 18th Century. The small detour to go and see it is worth it as on a good day the reflection of the arch creates an almost perfect circle.
Also Keep an eye out for the Ultreia sign as there is the opportunity along here to collect one of the Hoard Coins.
Once you climb the stone stile over the drystone dyke the path moves away from the river again and into broadleaf woodland. This section is very muddy so take care are you cross the streams that run across the path. As you come out of the woodland you will cross a road bridge over the Minnoch. This road only goes to the Farm nearby but be careful of farm traffic. After crossing the bridge, you will be walking along the other side of the Water of Minnoch in a more open landscape of fields and small trees. In the spring there is an incredible display of bluebells along the riverbank. After a while you will come of the confluence of the Water of Minnoch and the Water of Trool. The path from here to Loch Trool is another fantastic adventure, but it is one for another day unless you are happy to walk 20 miles. For this walk we cross over the suspension bridge and turn left to go back along the other side of the Trool and continue alongside the Minnoch.
You shortly come to the Forestry and Land Scotland visitor centre at Glentrool. This is one of the 7Stanes mountain bike centres but the visitor centre and café are welcoming to everyone so it’s a great place for a rest and a cup of tea. The café shuts at 4 and is only open at weekends in the winter so be careful to time your walk if you want to stop there.
From the visitor centre there is a well surfaced path through conifer woodland to the village of Glentrool. You can talk a short detour here if you still have the energy to climb up to a chambered cairn outside the village. Otherwise turn left along the road and as you get to the edge of the village there is a path on the right hand side of the road. This will take you back down to Bargrennan and also to a good pub to refresh yourself after a long day.
|Start||Bargrennan / Glentrool|
|Finish||Bargrennan / Glentrool|
|OS Explorer Maps||
Explorer 319 Galloway Forest Park South
|Distance||11.5 km / 7 Miles|
|Height Range||40 - 100 m|
|Supplies||Cafe at Glentrool visitor Centre|
|Public Transport||Girvan to Newton Stewart Bus stops at Glentrool|
|Cycling||Because of steep steps and very muddy and uneven areas it is very difficult to take bikes along the riverside path from Bargrennan to the Water of Trool.|