Circular countryside and woodland walk. 11km/7 miles. Allow 4 hours
Roadside pavement, minor roads, beaten earth, grass and hard surface paths. Kissing gates.
Moderate to strenuous. Stout shoes or boots recommended.
Start From the main car park, turn left over the River Fleet bridge, then first right. Follow this pleasant country road for approximately 4km/21/2 miles through the surrounding hills and woodland. Turn right when you reach signs for ‘weak bridge’ and follow the road downhill towards Castramont Bridge. To the left is Rusko Castle, a fine early 16th century restored tower house. From the bridge which crosses the River Fleet you may see grey wagtail and dippers. A hundred metres downstream you can still make out the stepping-stones that the postman used before the present bridge was built. Continue along the road to the T-junction where the sign for Carstramon Wood is straight ahead. Turn right and the entrance to the wood is on your left. An interpretation board at the entrance shows the network of paths within. To do a short loop, bear left at the first waymarker then right at the next three. Continue downhill past the next waymarker and back to the start. In the past, charcoal-burning platforms in Carstramon Wood converted oak to charcoal for the smelting of iron, brass and copper. Timber was also used by the bobbin mill in Gatehouse until 1931. In 1990, Carstramon Wood was gifted to the Scottish Wildlife Trust and is now managed as a nature reserve. Roe deer are plentiful and keep your eyes open for pied flycatchers and wood warblers. The woods are famed for their bluebells in spring. As you exit the wood, turn left onto the road and follow it for about 2.5km/11/2 miles until you reach a sign on your right for the EMU Walk named after Elizabeth Murray Usher. Follow the path through several kissing gates, past the cemetery and back on to the High Street.
Click below to download a pdf sheet for the walk.