Big Country Stats
Grade: NG - Variable
Singletrack: wholly on minor roads and forest roads
Estimated Time To Ride The Route: 3.5 - 7 hrs
**Big Country Route: Diversion in place from post 34 to post 39. This will last for 6 months. Between markers 8 and 13 and markers 37-38, there is timber by the roadside. Please take extra care around this area and obey any signage.**
Broaden your horizons!
Providing a day-long ride into the heart of the Galloway hills on a mix of quiet back roads and forest roads. Don’t be misled by the absence of technical singletrack, as this is a challenging day in the saddle, with testing climbs and big descents. Magnificent views of lochs and hills contrast with sheltered woodlands.
Loch Trool to Borgans
Starting at Glentrool Visitor centre, the route heads towards Loch Trool on tarmacked road, before crossing a bridge over the Water of Trool at Caldons, taking you onto forest road. Heading south west, the trail passes several old quarries before joining up with the minor road at Borgan.
Newton Stewart to Talnotry Hill
From Borgan, the road follows the path of the River Cree towards Newton Stewart, then leads back towards the forest. Steady climbing takes you away from civilisation and about 6km after Newton Stewart the tarmac ends and you're back onto forest road. Joining the Old Edinburgh Road, you meet up with the Kirroughtree Black Route at Talnotry Hill, allowing an extension to the ride for those looking for a truly huge and varied day out.
Black Loch, Millfore and Craigencallie - the day's big ascent
After Talnotry hill, the trail takes you past the rushing waters of the Grey Mare's Tail Burn, with a possible detour on foot down stream to see the carved stone heads of 'The Quorum' and the crashing water of the waterfall beyond. Continuing along the road you soon arrive at the Black Loch and the chance to rest a while and ponder on the concept of the cone-shaped tile structure 'The Eye' (it has a spy hole through its base) before tackling the major climb of the day.
The route ascends 200m as it winds round the side of Poultrybuie hill and the flanks of Millfore, then offers a fast and furious descent below the Buckdas of Cairnbaber to Craigencallie.
The heart of the Galloway Hills
From Craigencaillie, easy forest road leads you deep into the heart of the Galloway hills with extensive views over Loch Dee and to Silver Flow to the hills beyond. At Loch Dee the route joins up with the Southern Upland Way for a stretch.
You are now well above your starting point and it’s time to enjoy the long descent back into Glentrool. Pass the head of Loch Trool and rejoin the minor road by Buchan Bridge. Enjoy the views over Loch Trool on your way back to the visitor centre after an epic day out.