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I am looking to start in Ardrishaig. Has anybody walked from Carron Bothy (NR944 966) to the Causway at Inveraray (NN 110 102)? I am looking at traversing through the forest to avoid major roads
Looking at OS 1:25 and Google there seems to be various tracks but I am not sure what the ground will be like through the forest where there seems to be no tracks.
Any insights from people who have traversed this previously, or other options to head out of Ardrishaig North-East greatly appreciated.
You'll find, I think, that options between Carron and Inveraray are fairly limited. The usual route is to follow the mapped path via Creag an Iubhair to join the Forest Drive above Abhainn Bhuidhe, which takes you on to Brenchoille. Be warned that the path beyond Creag an Iubhair is a dreadful one after any period of wet weather, with a quagmire forming in a forest clearing which can be impossible to traverse without becoming wet from the knees down; there follows an eroded rocky trench which acts as a stream bed and is very slippery to ascend. Once on the Forest Drive, you'll enjoy an easy forest road. From Brenchoille, just about everyone uses the track round the coast from Furnace to Dalchenna Point then a short stretch of the A83 to reach Inveraray.
I haven't explored any other possibilities on the Challenge but I have visited lots of minor hills within the forest. I'm sure that quite a few routes could be teased out but they'd be longer and more convoluted than the one I've described. Bear in mind that the open hill tends to be trackless and very rough in this area and that commercial forestry can be impenetrable without the existence of a path, due to new plantings and windthrow. Larger scale mapping shows firebreaks but the going within these corridors is often as rough as the surrounding moor.
Someone may appear with some good alternative suggestions which are unknown to me but my own advice would be to stick with the popular outing.
Hope that helps
Thanks for the insight. I think I will plan both options and decide closer to the day.
In 2013 I was warned for the quagmire, and decided to give Carron a miss altogether. Instead I took forest drives following the River Add up to Tunns (NR921954) and then northeast to emerge on a path from the forest at Toman Dunaiche, where I pitched. Next day picking up the path at Feorlin and from the little reservoir at NR974988 climbed Beinn Ghlas. Down to point 215 and Goatfield to Furnace.
It was wet and the views over Loch Fyne could have been much better, but I really enjoyed this route!