Sarah and I enjoyed an easy but rewarding outing in the Galloway Forest Park, an area of the country that’s normally a little quieter than its northern counterparts. With a relatively high start point, good views and a gentle ascent, this was a great way to spend a morning!
Shalloch on Minnoch was the last of the 4 Galloway Corbetts, so with an opportunity for a walk and a reasonably good forecast for the Southern Uplands, we headed south for a slightly shorter journey than normal to the start of a hill walk.
Parking is available at the start of Carrick Forest Drive on the Straiton – Newton Stewart road (there are additional spots to park on the road itself), which unsurprisingly had a couple of camper vans and motorhomes given the recent easing of lockdown rules.
We set off along the road initially, before turning off to follow a feint and initially boggy path through the heather after around 1km. I suspect that the spell of dry weather had helped to dry the hillside out a little as the walk had been given a 5/5 rating for bogginess on Walkhighlands, but so far this was wildly inaccurate.
The heathery path was easy to follow and we made steady progress uphill, looking back occasionally for views over Ayrshire and across to Arran.
After a short down-and-up which followed another slightly boggy section, we were faced with the final steep pull to the large summit plateau, where a small cairn some distance from the trig point marked the true summit of the hill. We ventured over to the cairn and enjoyed the fine views across the Galloway Hills with some clouds coming and going over the higher summits – of the 4 Corbetts in the area, we’d chosen the right one for staying out of the cloud!
After a quick snack we headed off, retracing our steps back to the car. The gradient and terrain was very pleasant on the descent and allowed for quick progress with little impact on the legs, so we bounced down the hill pleased to have ticked off another Corbett and the last of the ones in Galloway.
We arrived back at the car just over 3 hours after setting off. This was a great wee walk on a pleasant morning and given how close to home it is, it would definitely make a fine candidate for an easy-to-plan summit camp – one for the future perhaps…!