Corserine from Loch Harrow

Corserine and Rhinns of Kells

Hillwalking route up Corserine from Forest Lodge

A superb circular runnable hill route on forest tracks and wide grass-covered crests over the Rhinns of Kells from Corserine to Meikle Millyea.

Route outline



Ascent 950m (3110ft)
Distance 18km (11m)
Time 6:05hr
Start/finish Forest Lodge
Grid Ref : NX553863
easy hard
easy hard
easy hard
ok fab

In the heart of Galloway Forest Park, the Rhinns of Kells form a long wide grass-covered ridge and hills travelling north-to-south, on which Corserine is the highest point. The most accessible point for this range of hills is Forrest Lodge to the east of the range.

Estate tracks lead through forests to the lochs at the base of Corserine, from where rough tracks travel up shoulders onto the crests of the Rhinn of Kells where walls are followed while traversing along a wide ridge. Navigation is fairly straightforward with much of the route below the ridge helpfully marked with Dumfries and Galloway Countryside Paths signs.

Route map

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Route description

1. Getting to Forest Lodge

Car-park by Forest Lodge

Car-park by Forest Lodge

The A713 travels from Ayr through St John's Town of Dalry and southwards onto Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway.

On this road, around 4km north of St John's Town of Dalry, by a junction marked 'Forrest Estate', a road heads westwards. Over a cattle grid, drive up this narrow road with passing places for 6km to its end by Burnhead Bridge.

Surrounded by forestry, there is a large parking area by Burnhead Bridge, with notice-boards, map of tracks in the area and bins. At time of writing, there was no charge to park.

2. Corserine

Track heading to Loch Harrow

Track heading to Loch Harrow

From the car-park, a sign indicates the start of the route to Corserine on an estate track through forestry. This track joins with another coming from the east which is then followed out of the forest and for around 1km to the house at Fore Bush .

Beyond the house at Fore Bush, the track heads back into forestry (recently felled on my last visit) for a further 1km to cross Loch Harrow Burn - a short detour from here up a rough track leads to the dam holding Loch Harrow and is worth taking for the reflected view of Corserine's east facing slopes in the loch.

Back on the track by Loch Harrow Burn, follow it north-west for a further 1km to a junction where a sign suggests heading straight on. Over the next 500m or so, the track becomes rougher and reaches another junction, this time with a sign indicating a left-turn to continue on the route to Corserine.

The path travels up through a fire break following close to the northern bank of Folk Burn and reaches the end of forest plantation. A small sign on a wooden post points the way uphill on a rough path that twists and turns up the east face of Craigrine. The path reaches Hennessy's Cairn on the crest of Corserine.

Corserine summit

Corserine summit

Now on Corserine's wide grass-covered crest, follow it as it gradually turns westwards, crossing some soggy patches on the way and ending by the trig point and small cairn on the hill's summit . Fine views over to Merrick, Shalloch of Minnoch and beyond.

Corserine summit

Corserine summit

3. Meikle Millyea

Looking from Corserine to Meikle Millyea

Looking from Corserine to Meikle Millyea

The first time I hiked up Corserine, snow was on the ground and mist enshrouded the summit, so by default, I about-turned and re-traced my steps back to the car-park.

In clear conditions, as was the case in subsequent visits, continuing southwards from Corserine, a most enjoyable hike can be taken that traverses the Rhinn of Kells on a circular route.

From Corserine's summit, aim south-east towards a small cairn. Continuing in the same direction, a couple more cairns are passed to reach the top of a faint line of ATV tracks. Follow the tracks as they descend a grass-covered crest aiming southwards.

After passing a small lochan on right of the tracks (not marked on maps), the crest narrows slightly as it approaches the lowest point on the ridge by the top of some forestry. Terrain underfoot from this point onwards is on slightly rougher ground.

After a climb of around 100m, a couple of minor summits on Millfire are passed and a wall on the approach to Milldown is met. This wall is followed up to the top of Milldown and down to the soggy pass below Meikle Millyea with its small lochans .

Corserine from the summit cairn on Meikle Millyea

Corserine from the summit cairn on Meikle Millyea

Still following the wall, a short climb uphill leads to the trig-point on Meikle Millyea a few metres east of a junction in the wall. This is not the summit ! The summit lies 500m south-west of the trig-point and is marked by a cairn resting a few metres west of the wall.

Corserine from the summit cairn on Meikle Millyea

Corserine from the summit cairn on Meikle Millyea

4. Return

Cairnsmore of Carsphairn from Meikle Millyea's trig point

Cairnsmore of Carsphairn from Meikle Millyea's trig point

Return to the trig point on Meikle Millyea and cross the wall heading north-east onto its northern side. A fairly well defined path is picked up and followed aside the wall down the north-eastern shoulder of Meikle Millyea. Around 1km on from Millyea's summit, the ground levels on Meikle Lump, with the wall and path turning eastwards.

Around 500m on from Meikle Lump, the path pulls away from the wall and descends down a steep heather-clad slope and heads into forestry. To meet with a track .

A series of signs indicate the route heading northwards for 3km back to the car-park by Burnhead Bridge, passing the house and buildings of Burnhead on the way.

Route profile »

Maps and GPX downloads »

Other maps :
Landranger 77
GPX file(s) :
Download GPX
of route
Always carry a decent compass.

Information on maps and GPX files is on this page.

Weather forecasts »

Alternative and nearby routes »

Cairnsmore of Carsphairn from the Green Well

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Peaks : 1 Corbett

Ascent : 620m (2030ft)
Distance : 12km (7m)
Time : 4hr

Cairnsmore of Carsphairn and Windy Standard

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Peaks : 1 Corbett plus 1 Graham

Ascent : 1250m (4100ft)
Distance : 24km (15m)
Time : 8:5hr


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