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Loch Glashen, Loch Gair, Minard, of road routes?

Posted: 2 Jun 2017, 1:59pm
by seanpk
Staying in Minard east of Loch Glashen on the west coast of Loch Fyne, taking my mountain bike, don't know the area and haven't done Scotland much so looking for suggestions and hints about the open access and routes in that area starting from my base of Minard - don't really want to drive to a start point, cheers, Sean

Re: Loch Glashen, Loch Gair, Minard, of road routes?

Posted: 2 Jun 2017, 10:09pm
by andrew_s
As you are probably aware, the Forestry Commission have set up a number of cycle routes around Loch Glashen.

The main access is via a track just north of Lochgair. There's a circular route round Loch Glashen, with spurs leading off to Minard (your access), Lochgilphead, Cairnbaan, and the minor road a couple of miles NW of Bridgend/Kilmichael.
From the minor road you can access the area on the west side of Loch Awe, where there are more cycle trails in the forest (but probably too far off?), and from Lochgilphead or Cairnbaan you can get onto the Crinan canal towpath. and thereby access the forests in the north part of Knapdale, wherein there are yet more cycle trails (and beavers, if you can find them).

Forest tracks are generally profusely supplied with dead ends, so I'd recommend a proper paper map and a GPS.

In Scotland, there's free access to most open/forested areas

Re: Loch Glashen, Loch Gair, Minard, of road routes?

Posted: 3 Jun 2017, 9:40am
by seanpk
When you say a 'proper map', is the OS 25k reliable enough for forestry tracks or do they change too regularly? do the forestry have their own maps? got a GPS - satellite, I presume phone GPS is no good round there?

Re: Loch Glashen, Loch Gair, Minard, of road routes?

Posted: 3 Jun 2017, 10:15am
by andrew_s
1:50k will be good enough.
You have to stick to the tracks (usually), they are marked, and they don't change.
The number of no through​ route tracks means you want to be sure a track goes somewhere before setting off up it, the trees mean one track looks the same as another, and because you've no long sight lines it's easy to lose your bearings.

It could turn out that it's​ all obvious on the ground because of the state of the track surfaces, but it's better to be prepared.

There probably won't be a phone signal. Most phones will receive the same satellite signals as a GPS, but it will only be useful if you've already got the maps for the area downloaded. An app that will give an OS grid ref so you can check which junction you are at could be enough.
(I use a GPS, so I don't use phone navigation)