Glen Sherup Horseshoe, Ochil Hills Walking

Cutting right through the Ochil Hills, Glen Devon gives easy access to plenty of good walking. The round of Glen Sherup is one of the better high level routes in the area, an enjoyable mid-length circuit that takes in some decent summits, and offers a mix of forestry, new growth native woodlands, and open grassy hilltops. There are superb long range views, and the encroaching windfarms really don't spoil things too much.

Looking towards the Southern Highlands from Innerdownie  © Dan Bailey -
Looking towards the Southern Highlands from Innerdownie
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Detailed description

NN9718405166 Follow path beside burn, then up a slope to enter forestry plantation. Take a forest track gradually uphill for nearly 1km. At a signpost for the Reservoir Trail turn right off the track onto a path down to the dam at Glensherup Reservoir. Cross the dam to meet a track on the other side, near a house.

NN9628304363 Turn right to head back north towards the mouth of Glen Sherup, following the road for about 500m. Turn left, alongside a fence. Cross the fence at a gate and stile, and take the grassy track uphill. This part of the glen is managed by the Woodland Trust Scotland, who are working to re-establish the native woodland, as part of a wider project in Glen Devon that has planted around 1.5 million trees. Once above the trees, leave the track to make a direct ascent onto Ben Shee, the smallest but most mountain-like of the walk's summits. On a clear day there's an extensive view of the Southern Highlands.
Ben Shee is quite a decent viewpoint for its size  © Dan Bailey -
Ben Shee is quite a decent viewpoint for its size
© Dan Bailey -, Jan 2017

NN9518903902 Descend west to rejoin the track, and continue up the long ridge of Mailer's Knowe. The track skirts left of the high ground on Scad Hill, and here it's worth instead following an obvious footpath up the broad crest. Pass a large boulder on the brow of the hill and continue up onto Cairnmorris Hill.

NN9337401676 Cut hard left to descend to a boggy saddle under Tarmangie Hill. Pass through a gate in a deer fence and follow the left side of the fence line up steeply onto Tarmangie Hill's grassy summit. Continue either side of the fence/drystone wall along the ridge, enjoying some of the widest views of the day, onto the big grassy plateau of Whitewisp Hill. It's possible to skirt far left of the high point, but worth bagging the cairn in passing.
Seamab and the Lomond Hills from Whitewisp Hill  © Dan Bailey -
Seamab and the Lomond Hills from Whitewisp Hill
© Dan Bailey -, Jan 2017

NN9550901347 From the summit cairn take an obvious trail north, handrailing a fence downhill to the forest boundary. Follow this, and then go along the broad ridge of Bentie Knowe. Woodland Trust Scotland are re-planting here too, and the scattered saplings will one day make a lovely high level woodland. Pass a little sheltered 'seat' built into the side of a crag to reach the summit cairn of Innerdownie, another nice spot.

NN9665903126 Continue east-northeast down the ridge, following an old wall, and soon meeting the forest boundary. Follow this along the broad heathery ridge, ignoring a couple of ladder stiles that lead into the pine plantation on your left. At a fork in the path go left, soon passing through a gate to enter the woods. The trail cuts downhill along a tunnel-like fire break through the dense dark pine wood to reach a forestry track.

NN9745004091 A waymarker indicates a left turn here: follow the track on a long meandering descending traverse through the woods and large areas of clear felling. Having turned the northern foot of Innerdownie, you eventually meet the Reservoir Trail signpost of stage one above the Glen Sherup reservoir dam. Stay with the main track to return to the car park.

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Further Routes

by Dan Bailey UKH

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