After visiting Cowden Japanese Garden ( see my recent post) we had spotted some nice hills around dollar / Glen Devon and my mountain buddy Fraser ( See Ficaill Ridge post) has mentioned there was a couple of nice horseshoes so we decided to do a quick Bank Holiday Monday hit , do a bit and play it by ear as the weather looked a bit questionable .
Glen Devon , part of the Ochills near startling has some lovely hills and from what we can tell it’s pretty overlooked as most head to he usual honeytraps around Glen Coe , Loch Lomond , the Trossachs etc so for a quiet walk we thought it would be ideal – and we weren’t wrong .
Nice big car park and obvious trail start to get us going we followed as usual the walkhighlands route , map and compass in pack as always ( good to practice and you never know when you will find yourself inside a cloud and blind in Scotland !)
The route heads up from and around the Glen Devon reservoir via an easy but steady incline from the car park , through the forest track and then a right turn at a small cairn after about 2.5km , up via a fire beak to the hills themselves and to the lovely views all around . Plenty Mountain biking trails as well so we actually saw more bikers than walkers i think but overall it’s a pretty quiet place ( ideal!)
As you work up through the forest itself you’ll find a whole carpet of various types of mushroom 🍄 – incredible – never seen so many ! ( remember unless you know your fungus and are are very sure never eat any you find some can kill … or at least send you a bit loopy)
Pretty quick up and down just to the first summit as rain was setting in and we’d been out for a couple of hours so happy to enjoy it and head back . 9km all in , the full round is only about 15km so an easy one for when you feel like it and it would make a good, relatively easy but worth it winter day for anyone starting to get used to winter walking and gear . Remember off you’ve only done summer / Autumn walking telnet Winter is VERY dodder and takes extra thought and skills – but is my favourite season for walking and especially climbing !
Over to the pics .
I’ll say it again – Remember as we head into Autumn that Scottish hills can be less forgiving than we think – so planning ( route, map, food/drink) are essential, having the right gear ( including “just in case” and summit layers ) and knowing how to navigate I.e. a map + compass and skills to use them , never mind how many apps / gps’ you have ) are all critical – our mountain rescue folks are incredibly stretched and we shouldn’t be placing pressure on them, or putting them in danger when we could have simply prepared a little better !
If you are new to winter check out our blogs on preparing and kit for winter – a read could save you trouble – or even a life .
Enjoy the hills – take care – and let me know if you do any of the routes we have – or suggest others you love !