Walk 174 – Kirstie’s Trail, Barr

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Beautifully scenic forestry tracks take you along to Kirstie’s Cairn, a memorial to young local farmer Christopher McTaggart who lost his life there in a blizzard in 1913. An easy walk which can either be 4 or 5 miles return depending on your start point. Instead why not form a loop and experience the famous Fairy Knowe Trail whilst you are there?  Or head up to High Changue on the Devil’s Trail for incredible views down the valley? 

Print  Dog-friendly walkresponsible dog owners are welcome on the Barr Trails

buggy friendly image  Buggy-friendly walk (Note – very last short section on approach to Kirstie’s Cairn involves a small stream crossing but entire rest of walk on good tracks)

  On-street parking opposite Barr Village Hall or head to the Trails Car Park, just off Changue Road (KA26 9TT). Parking in the trails car park will shorten the route by 1.2 miles. Closest train station is in Girvan, 7.5 miles away. From there you can travel by bus to Barr and stop at the Village Hall where the walk begins.

route image  Route: With your back to Barr Village Hall turn left (E) to walk along the roadside pavement. At a bend in the road keep right to continue ahead onto Changue Road, with the Water of Gregg on your right-hand side. Approx 1 mile along from the start you will reach a fork in the road signposted for the Trails car park – keep right/ straight on here. At another fork approx 300m along, keep left – following arrows for “The Devil’s Trail, Kirstie’s Trail, Changue Forestry Trail”. This track leads to a gate and across a bridge – look out for a view of the Fairy Knowe at a gap in the trees!  Continue along the forestry track with the river on your right-hand side. After approx 1 mile turn right at a small pond. Just past the pond turn right again onto a narrower footpath. Cross the small stream and you will find Kirstie’s Cairn at the other side of the gate. Return via the same route to arrive back at Barr Village Hall.

Kirstie's Cairn, Barr

Note: If you contact the Village Community Assoc. in advance, food/refreshments can be arranged for groups of walkers. Call 01465 861 062 or contact the village Facebook page.

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You can read about how I came to be in Barr on this date in my report of the Fairy Knowe Trail, when I had the pleasure of checking out three of the Barr Trails in the company of local lady Merlin Currie.

What a beautiful spot, a true hidden treasure in Ayrshire and one which everyone must, must explore. I for one did not appreciate that Ayrshire was home to such extensive areas of forestry; I honestly felt at times as though I was in the Highlands. But why go north, when you can head south!

Part of the Changue Road heading to the beginning of the Barr Trails
Dense forestry, full of life and colour on this sunny early Spring afternoon

Like most people I suspect, I went along to Kirstie’s Cairn fully presuming it referred to a woman named Kirstie. However I soon found out that it was in fact the nickname of Chrisptoher McTaggart, a 19 year old shepherd who sadly lost his life here in the winter of 1913 whilst tending to his sheep.

Kirstie’s Cairn. The photo also shows the grassy access path on the right, as well as the continuation of the Change Forest (mountain bike) Trail just above.
Memorial stone on the cairn

On the way to and from the Cairn we passed a small pond and Merlin explained to me that it comes alive with dragonflies on a hot summer’s day! It did seem such a beautifully sheltered spot and I could fully imagine a family cycle to this spot one day.

Dragonfly pond

Other walks in this area: 

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