Mountain bike route Ballantrae and Beneraird hill
Ballantrae, Berneraird and Arecleoch
forest

Route in brief.
Distance 45km, climb 900m, 2km carry,
fast descents, great view, map
landranger 76.

The nearest easy parking at the start of
this route is in Ballantrae at the shore
front  although I managed to squeeze
into a spot on the road up to Kilwhannel,
saving some climb. There is a long climb
up to Kilwhannel and on to the hill track.
The track is good up to Benawhirter but
then deteriorates and steepens up to the
shoulder of Beneraird.
The view looking north to Ailsa Craig, Arran and the northern hills is beautiful, enough to take your
breath away, or perhaps that is the climb. The cairn at the top of Bernaraird is not far from the
shoulder but is on the route back anyway, so go straight down the track to Lagafater Lodge, a
staightforward run with only sheep to worry about. The turn on to the track to Dirniemow is obvious
after 2 km., it is well surfaced and downhill much of the way.
The minor road can be reached by a left or right turn at the track end, left is shorter. The minor road
toward Arecleoch forest climbs steadily until Chirmorrie after which it descends to the forest. Take
the track left before the forest to the railway bridge which can be seen from the road. Follow easy
forest tracks to the steam on the east side of Kilmoray. This is where the hard work begins as it is
now a carry or push all the way to Beneraird about 2 km. The track back down from Beneraird is
much, much more fun downhill, but remember to take in the view even if you do not need the rest.
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