Kilsyth Hills ride report

Kilsyth Hills 27/03/11 Ride Report

Three of us – Davie H, Gerry and myself – headed out from Colzium for the alternative Sunday ride, a tour of the Kilsyth Hills. Davie has put a lot of effort into linking up the best trails in the area, and we were keen to find out what they were like.

The first section started with a steep gravelly climb with some switchbacks thrown in for good measure, but once we had gained some height we were soon flying along a grassy ridge and admiring the views of the hills that we were due to head up. It wasn’t long before we reached the first ‘challenge’ climb of the day (these turned out to be a recurring theme…) alongside the Antonine Wall. I let Davie and Gerry lead the way on this one. After reaching the trig point we then headed up to the Roman Fort at Bar Hill and down some rooty singletrack through the trees to Twechar and Kilsyth. At around 2 hours, this would make a great Tuesday or Wednesday evening ride alternative.

Next, we headed across the main road and onto a long climb behind Queenzieburn to the Birkenburn reservoir. This was to be the second challenge climb of the day, taking us to around the same height as the Tak ma Doon road. When we reached the reservoir the sun came out and it was an ideal place to stop for lunch. After scooting down some singletrack through the forest, we were suddenly in Carron Valley. The option here was to either ride the Carron Valley cycle trails, or to climb up to the Tomtain cairn, which Davie assured us would be worth the climb.

So, we opted to head to the cairn (challenge climb 3 – by this time I was flagging), and the 360 degree views were fantastic! By this time the sky had cleared enough for us to see as far as the Forth road bridge. The singletrack descent took us back down the grass to the Tak ma Doon, so it was then a quick spin down to Kilsyth.

A fantastic day out with a good mix of climbing and fun singletrack descents, well done to Davie for organising, and definitely a route worth putting on the official calendar.

Trip stats:

Distance travelled: no idea

Total time: 5 hours approx.

Total ascent/descent: lots!

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One Comment

  1. Sounds great, I look forward to trying it one Sunday when I’ve not been commandeered for painting duties. Especially interested in the link from Birkenburn to Carron Valley; I tried that a few years ago and got hopelessly lost in the forest.

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