| || |
Parton Heritage Trail
| Click for more images Click for more images Click for more images Click for more images Click for more images Click for more images || |
|Location||Off the A713 road, park in the layby at Loch Ken Holiday Park. Cross the road to reach the start of the walk. The trail is a 4.8km circular walk uphill, 1km to the first viewpoint.|
Parton Heritage Trail
This 1km walk follows a footpath along the edge of pasture and woodland to reach an elevated 'Red Kite Viewpoint' overlooking Loch Ken and the surrounding area. There is an interpretative board and a picnic table at the viewpoint, which is a great place to relax and enjoy the panoramic views. To the south lies the shining wetlands, while to the northwest lies Cairnsmore of Dee and the hills of the Rhinns of Kells in the Glenkens. The heritage trail is well way-marked and continues northwards to Glenlaggan viewpoint and back along the track and minor road to Parton Village. The route then follows the A713 road (please mind road safety) to the car park. Kites can be seen from anywhere on 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.
Other birds & wildlife
The woodlands have uncommon resident birds such as nuthatch and willow tits, together with more common blue tits, coal tits, great tits, long-tailed tits, wrens, great-spotted woodpeckers, goldcrests and robins etc. In spring and summer, these are joined by spotted flycatchers, willow warblers, chiffchaffs and wood warblers. Buzzards, kestrels and sparrowhawks are often seen in this area, while a variety of waterfowl can be seen flying up and down Loch Ken/River Dee.
Red squirrels and roe deer are quite commonly seen in the woodland edge, especially in early morning. Parton churchyard contains the grave of James Clerk Maxwell, who was an eminent physicist and great hero of Albert Einstein. Adjacent to the churchyard are the ruins of the original parish church and an even more ancient motte, the site of an early medieval fortification. The village has an idyllic hamlet of attractive cottages,rebuilt in 1901 by B. R. Murray, of Parton House. One was set aside as a library and reading room. The clock tower was added to an existing byre but later converted to a communal laundry. Murray also provided the (now vividly coloured) village hall in 1908.
How to get there
The footpath is about 0.5km north of Parton on the A713. Park at the lay-by beside Loch Ken Holiday Park; cross the road (opposite the wooden kite sculpture, by local chainsaw artist, Rodney Holland) to reach the Galloway Kite Trail post and the start of the walk. The Holiday Park, which has a licensed grocery in the summer season, is a Galloway Kite Trail Information Point and has a display board on Kites in Flight. You can also pick up a Galloway Kite Trail guide leaflet.