Where: Corserine, from Forest Lodge,
Dumfries & Galloway
When: September 15th 2012
Who: I Parker
Why: Good weather so a day out
Weather: Sunny spells
Distance: About 8 miles, 4 hours
The Forest Estate is situated about 34
miles southeast of Ayr off the A713. The
entrance to the estate is about 7 miles south
of Casphairn, with signs at the entrance
stating Forest Estate.
This is a good scenic, single track, tar
road with many passing places.
The range here is known as the Rhinns of
Kells, containing from the north, the 1,732
ft Black Craig, 2,043 ft Coran of Portmark,
2,011 ft Bow, 2,162 ft Gairnsgarroch, 2,280
ft Meaul, 2,648 ft Carlin's Cairn, 2,671 ft
Corserine, 2,034 ft Meikle Craigtarson, 2,349
ft Millfire, 2,421 ft Milldown, and 2,457 ft
This photo tour covers the Tourist Trail
up the north east ridge to Corserine, and
back down the tougher southeast ridge to Loch
The image below is from the Forest Estate
road approaching The Green House with
Corserine in the distance.
Road Map . Hill Walking
click on Map . Large Hill Route Map
The image below is of The Green House
situated about 2 miles along the estate road.
This is a Natural Power Organization.
After about 3 miles from the start of the
estate road, your reach the hiking car park
with seating areas, as seen below. There is a
map here that shows the roads throughout the
forest to the hills. Many of the roads are
named after people.
There is a sign here that states: if any
cars are left in the car park after 8
o'clock, the estate management will report
the owners as being lost in the hills or
forest, and may need rescuing. Even though
the trails are marked, it is best to carry an
OS map as there are many other forest roads
here that you can take a wrong turn onto and
The road straight ahead is the Professor
Hans Heiberg Road. This road is normally used
out to, or on the road back from the most
southern hill on this range, Meikle
The main tourist trail to Corserine leads
off to the right in this image on a well
The map below shows the main trail up
Corserine past Loch Harrow and up the
On the road round to Corserine, over to
your right through the trees, you will see a
figurehead, as seen below, at the entrance to
the Forest Lodge. This figurehead is from the
Fred Olsen passenger liner named the Black
Watch that was sunk during the Second World
War. The ship was operated on the Newcastle -
The estate must have connections to the
Fred Olsen cruise line, explaining why many
of the forest roads have Scandinavian
The forest road to Corserine heads up into
the forest past a white house, as seen
The forest road heading north has a number
of blue and white signs directing you to
Corserine. This forest track is about 2 and a
half miles out to the northeast ridge of
Corserine. You pass a road marked Birger
Natvig Road. This is the road down the south
side of Loch Harrow to the southeast ridge of
The blue signs there state hikers should
carry on straight past that road and follow
signs for a bridge and stile. The view below
is from just past Birger Natvig Road at a
clearing, looking over Loch Harrow to the
more rocky southeast ridge of Corserine.
After a stiff hike up the forest road for
about another half of a mile, the blue signs
point down an older forest road towards the
northeast ridge of Corserine. Note the small
red post here, red posts mark the trail from
About 1 third of a mile down this old
road, the road turns to a soggy path. The
bridge is actually boulders across the burn.
You have to be careful you don't walk past
this part of the trail as it is only marked
by a small red post.
After a few hundred yards through a narrow
woodland path, your reach a stile that gives
the view below. The hike up Corserine
consists of a fairly steep hike up to this
first ridge, then a fairly steep hike up to a
second ridge, then from the second ridge it
is an easy hike to the summit.
There is a narrow trail all the way to the
The image below is looking down from the
second ridge to the first ridge and Loch
Harrow on the right. There are a number of
sub hills on the road up with cairns you can
visit. The sub hills normally have the best
If you visit the two hills over to the
left in this image, mind the hill furthest to
the left/north as it has high cliffs on its
The view below is from just above the
second ridge looking to Corserine summit. It
is easy and safe hiking up here as long as
visibilty is good. Mind the drops here if
visibility is poor.
As I was hiking up the northeast ridge, I
noticed someone in a red jacket hiking up the
southeast ridge, that looked a fair bit
The image below is from Corserine summit
looking north to Carlin's Cairn, Meaul,
Gairnsgarroch, Bow and Coran of Portmark.
The view below is of the route over to the
2,648 ft Carlin's Cairn. This is a fairly
easy hike if you want to bag another 2,500 ft
plus hill, just a bit steep in places. You
can find an aircraft crash site, just left of
where this image was taken.
The view below is from Corserine looking
south to the 2,349 ft Millfire, 2,421 ft
Milldown, and 2,457 ft Meikle Millyea. Many
hikers want to go down over those three hills
then back to the car park from Meikle Millyea
along the Professor Hans Heiberg Road. Make
sure you have an OS map on that route as
there are a number of forest roads down that
way, easy to go down the wrong one. The
Professor Hans Heiberg Road is not too well
marked in places.
The hike along those three hills is fairly
straight forward. You then follow a stone
dyke down off the east side of Meikle Millyea
to a stile that leads to The Professor Hans
Heiberg Road, down past a watch tower. That
route down will take about 3 hours
Large Image .
Tour of the
Meikle Millyea Route .
I met the hiker that made it up the
southeast ridge, on the top of Corserine. He
stated the route was very tough going up
through the short forest break and onto the
start of the ridge.
I decided to go down that way to see if I
could get some good photos. The view below is
going down the southeast ridge, a fair bit
more adventurous than the northeast ridge.
There is a good forest road that runs right
round to the end of the loch, at the bottom
of this ridge.
If you are not used to rough hiking, best
go back down the northeast ridge, following
There is another aircraft crash site,
close to the east side edge, when hiking
across to here.
The view below is from the road round the
south side of Loch Harrow, looking back at
Corserine southeast ridge. There is short
forest break round there for a route, on or
off that ridge, next to a small quarry. I
came down through the trees next to the
forest break. I found it was better walking
as the trees have few branches low down.
The southeast ridge is definitely a lot
tougher and more dangerous, probably why the
signs show the way to the northeast ridge.
The image below shows the tough route, but
you can miss the route up between the cliffs
by following the fence around to the left of
the lower part. Large Image
This was an interesting hike that took
about 4 hours, could have spent a fair bit
more time visiting some of the sub peaks.
Corserine looks like a large grassy hill
from the north, south and west, but from the
east, as seen above, it looks like a
challenging mountain, especially the