Rig of the Gloon climb for ramblers

Looking towards the Merrick through the woods.
Looking towards the Merrick through the woods.

Two walks were organised this week. The first, a strenuous walk up The Merrick and the second an easy walk around Minnigaff.

11 doughty Wigtownshire Ramblers assembled at Bruce’s Stone in Glen Trool for the ascent of the Merrick, Galloway’s highest peak at 843 metres (2,765 feet), via the less usual route up the Rig of the Gloon. Another of those curious Galloway names, this one has a quite simple meaning of “gloomy ridge”, not perhaps the best omen, particularly given the dire weather forecasts in the run up to the day.

They headed up the Merrick “Tourist Path”, feeling the heat as we slowly gained height, alongside the attractive Buchan Burn. As a result, we arrived at Culsharg Bothy in good time and took the forest road that follows the burn upstream. They emerged from the forest onto the open moor with Rig of the Gloon towering above.

Meanwhile the second group took a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Cree. We followed the road passed Kirroughtree Hotel and took to the fields following an old track into the beech wood above Parliament Knowe. A narrow path took us up the hill and onto another road which led us back towards Minnigaff. We descended the forest road and crossed the Risk road into the Cumloden estate.

Next week’s walk on Saturday 3rd June is an 8 mile Category C walk (leisurely) around the Dumfries House estate, a circular from Auchinleck to Ochiltree with time to visit Dumfries House. Park at Tesco car park, Auchinleck (NS 553 216) for a 10:00am start. Meet for car sharing at the Breastworks, Stranraer at 8:15am or at the Riverside, Newton Stewart at 8:30am. New walkers and visitors are always welcome but should first phone Saturday’s walk leader on 07795 556758 for further information.