Walk 6-1: The Black Gutter

This is a real gem of a walk combining the very best of the Galloway Hills including an ascent of the highest top in the south of Scotland, the Merrick.


The start is on the Glentrool to Straiton road at the Kirriereoch road end using forest roads to the derelict farm at Kirriemore, and upstream beside the Kirkennan Burn to Kirriemore Hill (457 metres).

The route normally follows the ridge to the Braes of Mullachgeny and a relatively easy climb to the Merrick. However, this time we are using the more dramatic route via the Kirshinnoch Burn on the south side, keeping close to the towering cliffs of the Black Gutter and Black Gairy.

Even in May this is walked in the shadow and is reminiscent of the approach to the northern corries on Ben Nevis.

Sunshine is regained, hopefully, on the approach to the Little Spear and the final climb to the summit of the Merrick (843 metres a Corbett).

No matter how many times you climb this mountain, always allow time to savour the magnificence of its position and surroundings.

Rather than take the traditional path back to Bruce’s Stone the route uses the Rig of the Gloon towards the Buchan Burn, then Culsharg bothy where the path is re-joined for the final kilometre to the finish at Loch Trool. 

Starting Location

End Location

Theme Hills Biosphere
Register from 07:30
Depart at 08:00
Travel time 30 minutes
Start from NX 358 865
End at NX 415 804
Return travel time 30 minutes
Return by 16:30
Price (Adult) £11.00
Price (Accompanied Child) £11.00
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Walk 6-1: The Black Gutter