NESTLING below the complex, knobbly and volcanic Cleish Hills, the secretive Loch Glow is tucked away between the A823 to the west and the M90 to the east.
The loch, leased to Rosyth CSSA Angling Club, is reached from a car park on the minor road that traverses Blairadam Forest.
The access track has a vehicle barrier closed in winter – no drawback for the walker given the short distance to the loch.
However, Jimbo and I started further north of that angling track. Leave the M90 at junction 5 and follow the B9097 west for 1¾ miles, then head southwards on the minor road, part of National Cycle Route, to reach a forestry track near the sharp bend on the road at map ref 093072. Do park with consideration. Boulders block the track entrance and there is limited verge-side space. From there we took a circuitous anti-clockwise route; through a forested area then into open country to climb some of those knobbly hills, Dumglow and (via the north shore of Loch Glow) The Inneans and finally Dummiefarline – a short forest and hill walk, ideal for a winter’s day.
The forestry track heads west with a gentle rise. Just less than one mile reach an open felled area on the right and a narrower track on the left. Turn left (southwards) on this grassier, narrower and more enclosed track, little more than a path at times through the firebreak clearing. On reaching a T-junction, turn right on an even more enclosed track through the trees; a well-trodden path at first, muddy on our day, gently rising through a firebreak.
Cross a fence line by a stile and continue straight on through a narrower way to clear the forest. Loch Glow is now seen down to the left. (If doing the route in a clockwise direction, the opening into the forest is somewhat hidden).
Cross another fence post line by a stile. Traverse the undulating tussocky summit area, and follow a slight path to the grassy summit of Dumglow, at 379m/1,243ft the highest of the Cleish Hills and a Marilyn, hills of any height with a drop of at least 150m all round.
The summit is the site of a Bronze Age hill fort and the trig point offers a superb panoramic viewpoint, including NE to the nearby Lomonds and Loch Leven. By the trig point is a small memorial plaque to a shepherd whose ashes are scattered on these hills where he ran his flocks of sheep in the 1930s and 1940s.
Return to the fence and follow that downhill on steep grassy ground to the SE end of Black Loch. Cross a dyke and follow it by a slightly wet path towards Loch Glow which soon appears. The dyke continues to the water’s edge. The fence posts continue into Loch Glow – high water level after lots of rain.
Cross the stile and follow the northern shore’s shingly path, quite wet on our day. Pass the warning sign (Beware! Deaths have occurred at reservoirs) and pass by a number of blue tubs for rubbish and then by a new shelter hut and the minor outflow from the Black Loch. On our day people were conspicuous by their absence though a few swans serenely ignored the poor weather.
At the most northern point of the loch, head north by the edge of the forest then climb The Inneans, the three small elongated hills of which the central bump, at 336m/1,102ft, is the highest.
Continue north to the slightly lower Dummiefarline, an Iron Age fort whose ramparts can still be identified. Descend east for a short distance, then NE to return to the minor road and so back to the car.
Map Ordnance survey map 58, Perth & Alloa
Distance 4 miles
Terrain Forestry track and paths
Start point Map ref 093072
Time 2½ to 3 hours
Nearest town Kelty
Refreshment spot Baxters Home farm Restaurant, Kelty by M90, junction 4