Hill walk routes to climb in SW Scotland - also coastal paths and National Scenic Areas with maps, pictures and other useful information based on extensive local knowledge
Walking route from Mid Glen to Criffel via Knockendoch
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Map of walking routes from Glen Head and Ardwall to the summit of Criffel Map of walking routes from Glen Head and Ardwall to the summit of Criffel Map of walking routes from Glen Head and Ardwall to the summit of Criffel

01 The route discussed in this web gallery is the green route from Mid Glen to the summit of Criffel going over Knockendoch on the way up. The yellow route from Ardwall has it's own web gallery. Both these routes are linear (ie you come back by the same route as you went).

From Mid Glen you can also take the purple route which takes you up the valley of the Glen Burn to the west of Criffel (see pages 11 and 12). On both the green and purple routes, after leaving Mid Glen you pass through woodland until you meet a forest track and at that point both these routes turn right onto that track and follow it. The green route soon breaks off onto a narrow path back into woodland but the purple route continues on the forest track till you come to the end of that track. From that point onwards there is a rough path of sorts through a fire break following the east bank of the Glen Burn (which you almost never see for the trees). Follow this until you emerge from the southern end of the fire break and then you head NE for the summit of Criffel.

It is quite possible to park at Sweetheart Abbey car park in New Abbey then walk northward along the main street till you arrive at the working Corn Mill run by Historic Scotland. Turn left there and make your way up to Mid Glen and so onto on the green route to the top of Criffel. From there follow the yellow route down towards Ardwall but when you arrive at the crossing of a second forest road on this route you will see a sign inviting you to turn left onto the forest road if you want to go to New Abbey. That route is way-marked and it brings you down past Loch Kindar.

It should be possible to come onto Criffel from the south but I have always been put off this by the necessity to go through farmers' fields which I am reluctant to do, so I have never gone up that way.

Since Scotland has a "freedom of access" law there is nothing "official" about any route mentioned here since you can go wherever you like and combine any of these routes in anyway you choose. For example you might get to just above the tree line on the Ardwall to Criffel route and then head north onto Knockendoch, then onto Criffel and back down to Ardwall. Or you could combine the Glen Burn route (purple) with the Mid Glen route (green).

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