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|Location||Off the A762 road you can park by the Red kite sculpture, near the post office in mossdale. Follow the footpath past the old railway station for 2.5km walking trail.|
Mossdale Walk and Kite Sculpture
This 2.5km circular walk starts from the trail car park (download leaflet & map here), opposite the village shop, where there is an interpretative board and an impressive wooden sculpture of a red kite, created by local sculptor Peter Bowsher. The tranquil and attractive hamlet of Mossdale lies in an open enclave on the edge of Galloway Forest Park. The walk affords wonderful views of Mossdale Loch, Old Bridge of Dee, Bennan and Airie Hills. Kites can be seen from anywhere on the open parts of the walk at any time of the year, but perhaps the best places to look are over the nearby woods and just above the skyline
Buzzards are common throughout the year, while hen harriers are fairly regular outwith the breeding season. The roadside just north of Mossdale is a regular spot for whinchat in summer, whereas stonechats are found throughout the year. Whaup (curlew), a few lapwing and snipe usually breed in the area, as do wheatears and a range of common woodland birds. The wooded part of the walk is good for willow tit, great-spotted and (occasionally) green woodpecker, whilst jay and raven are never far away. At dusk and inthe evening, this is a regular haunt of barn, tawny and long-eared owls, with the former being most conspicuous hunting over the long grass surrounding the hamlet.
Roe deer are frequently seen in fields and along the woodland edge, with red squirrels a possibility in Garel's Wood. Mossdale Station was a halt on the old 'Paddy Line' from Dumfries to Stranraer
Closed as part of the infamous Beeching review in 1965, this former railway was one of the most scenic in the UK and provided the setting for Hannay's daring escape in John Buchan's classic novel, The 39 Steps. Buchan knew the line from holidays spent at Gatehouse-of-Fleet, and to this day his readers walk the line in search of the Hannay's secluded culvert and the scene of his fictional flight.
Mossdale is at one end of the Raiders' Road Forest Drive (tolled), which follows the atmospheric Black Water of Dee as it winds its way through forest and peat flow, affording wonderful views of the rugged and relatively little known Galloway Hills. The appellation ‘Raiders' Road’ derives from S.R. Crockett's novel, The Raiders, which was a bestseller in Victorian times and is still popular in Galloway to this day.
How to get there
Mossdale lies on the A762 some 4 miles south of New Galloway. Park near the village shop (there is a small car park near to the kite sculpture, opposite the shop), where there is an interpretative board and an impressive sculpture of a red kite. Follow the yellow marker arrows, to the old station and turn right under the old railway bridge. Follow the line of the old railway until a 'summer seat' and a second Galloway Kite Trail post are reached after about 200m. From there, the walk crosses open farmland to the woodland edge and onto the Raiders'Road Forest Drive. Turn right onto the road and follow it for some 500m, whereupon a footpath re-enters the woodland and descends to Mossdale Loch through Garel's Wood. The path eventually rejoins the path from Mossdale, which can then be followed back to the start.