Unwind on the Barr Trails
You could happily spend a week’s holiday exploring the countryside around the remote Ayrshire village of Barr. Nearly 20 miles (32 km) of paths criss-cross the rolling countryside through forest, along riversides and across open hills.
The trails here cross land belonging to other individuals and organisations as well as Forestry Commission Scotland. You’re sure to enjoy them all.
You’ll find places to eat in Barr village.
Follow the delightful Water of Gregg to reach Kirstie’s Cairn, a memorial to a local shepherd who perished here in a snowstorm.
Firm gravel surface with some loose or potholed sections. Includes long moderate slopes for up to 500m. Short grassy section up to cairn with steep slope and narrow gate.
5 miles / 7.9 km Allow 3 hours
The cairn is a poignant monument to Christopher McTaggart, a 19-year old shepherd lad who died in a blizzard in January 1913 while caring for his sheep. It’s a sobering reminder of how tough it could be to farm this remote land.
Climb through the forest onto the open hillside above Dinmurchie for great views over Barr and the Stinchar Valley.
Long fairly steep slopes for over half a mile. Sections of rough, narrow grassy surface with very wet areas. Includes narrow kissing gates, stiles and a section along the road.
3 ¼ miles / 5.2 km Allow 2 hours
Fairy Knowe Trail
Climb through the eerie spruce trees to emerge above the Fairy Knowe and a rushing waterfall for some magical views over the forest to Haggis Hill.
Uneven grassy paths with narrow, muddy and rough sections. Some steep slopes and a long flight of steps for 100m. Includes some bridges and wide gates.
3 ½ miles / 5.7 km Allow 2½ hours
The Fairy Knowe is a delightful spot on the burn: rest here and admire the water rushing through a spectacular cleft in the hills.
Discover magnificent views, wildflowers and a devilish bargain on this varied loop through the forest over Changue Point.
Long steep slopes for 500m, including one very steep descent. Sections of uneven grassy and earthy paths that may be muddy in places. Includes narrow bridges and a motorcycle barrier.
4 ¼ miles / 7.0 km Allow 3 hours
In spring and summer you can find primroses and bluebells in the woodland on Changue Point, the hill between the Water of Gregg and the Changue burn. As you pass the farmstead at High Changue, look out for mysterious markings in the grass.
There’s a legend that the Laird of Changue sold his soul to the Devil in return for great wealth. Of course, when the time came the Laird didn’t want to keep his side of the bargain. He kept the fiend at bay by laying his Bible on the ground and drawing a circle around him with his sword. Some say you can see the marks of the Holy Book and the sword to this day…
Changue Forest Trail
Cycling - 8.1 miles / 13.0 km
Soar through storm-swept mountains.More information...
The length of this trail means it’s best explored by bike, but it also makes a good long walk. The route takes you through the heart of Changue, a commercial forest of spruce and larch, and up to superb views of the wild hill country.
"Changue" comes from Gaelic, and means “a large rounded shoulder of storm-swept mountains”. It’s an apt description, especially during winter.
Narrow earth paths, farm tracks and quiet surfaced roads. Uneven, stony surface in places with some long steep slopes.
Mountain biking trails
There’s a rich history to ‘The Barr’, as it’s known locally. For more about the place, and the stories you’ll pass through on the trails, check the Barr Village Paths page.
Check out more information about places to stay and the history of Barr village, and what makes it a great place for a weekend away.
How to get here
To reach the forest car park, take the single track road from the Kings Hotel in Barr village, following the Water of the Gregg. Pass the village school and continue for about ½ mile (800 metres), then turn left at the first fork to reach the car park at grid reference NX 285 943.
KA26 9TN is the nearest postcode.
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