Throughout the hills are trails and track that would have originated as drove and trading routes. This morning I was up the hills at 08:30 to try and follow an old route from the Halls to Deuchrie above Stoneypath. This trail is shown on old maps then seems to have disappeared. On my latest OS map there is a path outlined. Possible cycle rout but today was recon.
After a quick climb from the Halls road end, the track followed a natural route through gulleys or "cleughs". Brilliant track which reminded me of the Highland "coffin roads". These routes might not take the shortest path but instead take the path of least resistance that will be passable even in the depths of winter.
The trail climbed out onto the moor. There were Peewits calling and larks singing. The wind was cold but I really love these open spaces. In this drop between the hills you can see the quad bike tracks from shooting season. In the muddy puddles there was frogspawn and I could smell the coconut of the gorse.
The next bit would be easy cycling over moor that has been grazed by sheep. In the distance is "Rammer Wood"...stop sniggering at the back.. The wood is in a steep sided gorge which couldn't be cultivated. As a result the ancient sessile oak has survived. It was just showing signs of spring today but it will not be long until it is full of Bluebells and wild Garlic.
The trail leads down to Deuchrie. In the far distance I could see the Pentland hills. The track at the bottom of the valley leads back into Rammer Wood....stop it, I've told you before....and then on to a lodge.
Coffee time, outdoors, couple of hours walking and no other humans. Can't be bad.
Fly was happy too.
The trail got lost a few times in gorse and with new shooting tracks. Would probably be easier to follow west to east.
F1 gusting F2 W variable Clear 6 degrees.