My cycling chum Graham and I
repeated the Merrick ascent again
It is hard work but the descent is great.
There was a north wind to keep us cool
and coffee and cake at the cafe at Stroan
bridge, a just reward for all that effort.
The Merrick Landranger 77
Route in brief
22km, assent 800m, choose a nice day because this is the highest hill in southwest scotland.
I have been up this hill about 17 times and in the worst wind (during a Karrimor mountain
marathon) we could not make progress even by crawling. I skied it once but that was
nothing to write home about. I walked from Loch Doon once - never to be repeated and I
have cycled up it three times now. That was more fun than most of the other ascents.
Start from the parking area at Stroan bridge where there is convenient tea room
Leave the car park going east on the tarmac road. After about 250m go left into the forest.
Go straight ahead at the two junction after about 1.5 km. Go left after a total distance of
about 3km. The track traverses a felled area going north and ascends to the top of Bennan
where there is a radio mast. Just before the summit leave the track toward Corse Craig ridge
and Benyellary. The ascent to Benyellaary is the hardest section as it involves a push or carry
of just under 1km. Cycle across Neive of the Spit beside the wall. Leave the wall where it
bend and go directly up to the Merrick. If it is misty the wall can be followed north to Black
Gairy then east to near the summit. Once you have rested at the top turn round and enjoy the