A cycle route with plenty of hills and great countryside views starts from Kilsyth. You’ll tackle some iconic local cycling climbs, such as the Tak-Ma-Doon and the Crow Road. These roads both straddle the Campsie Fells.
There’s an array of towns, villages, and attractions that make a good stop-off for refreshments or for historical interest, such as the Antonine Wall and Forth & Clyde Canal.
The historic waterway follows roughly the same route as the Antonine Wall. The reason is, it is the shortest distance between the east and west coasts of Scotland.
Before the Forth & Clyde Canal was built, ships wishing to get from the west coast to the east would have had to sail round the top of Scotland.
Work started on the canal in 1768 and it took 22 years to complete, finishing at Bowling on the River Clyde in 1790.
A small former mining village, Twechar has the UNESCO world heritage site - the Antonine Wall, running right through the settlement. Excavations of a Roman Fort sit on top of Bar Hill, which overlooks Twechar.
A disused quarry near Kilsyth has been turned into a leisure area by Kilsyth and Cumbernauld District Council. The floor of the quarry is under water, forming a small loch surrounded by landscaped areas in the foreground with the backdrop of the 30.5m high whinstone face exposed behind. It is a popular destination for climbers.
The UNESCO world heritage site - the Antonine Wall – takes the form of remains of the original wall built to keep the Picts out of Roman territory.
The historic burgh of Kilsyth is home to Burngreen Park, with childrens play area and attractive bandstand. Dumbreck Marsh is also close by, and features a variety of wildlife.
The forest has purpose-built mountain bike trails.
Leave Market Square in Kilsyth to the left and turn left into Burngreen. Continue past Burngreen Park.
Go round to the left at the end of Duntreath Terrace and on to Station Road. Continue to a junction with Stirling Road.
Go right and follow Stirling Road for a short distance to left turn for Carron Bridge and Tak-Ma-Doon Road.
Follow Tak-Ma-Doon uphill. This is a sustained climb. On a fine day stop at the viewpoint for expansive views over the region and further afield.
Descend on the far side, heading over a ford (take care here) to the Carronbridge Guest House.
Turn left at a junction for Fintry B818. Follow the B818 through the Carron Valley (Carron Valley Trails 1.5 miles on left) for approximately 8 miles to a junction with B822.
Turn left towards Lennoxtown (via Crow Road) and follow for 7 miles.
There is now a long and sustained climb of Crow Road.
Descend into Lennoxtown on Crow Road, then Crosshill Street to a junction with Main Street.
Turn left on to A891 for Milton of Campsie and Torrance.
Continue through Lennoxtown and follow A891 to Milton of Campsie. Enter Milton of Campsie on the downhill.
Just after a playpark, turn right for Kincaid House Hotel and Kirkintilloch, B757 – Birdston Rd.
Continue through Birdston to Kirkintilloch.
At traffic lights at McDonald’s, turn left for Kilsyth A803. Continue to Eastside roundabout and go straight through for Kilsyth A803.
On leaving Kirkintilloch, take the right for Antonine Wall and Twechar B8023.
The road eventually runs parallel with the Forth & Clyde Canal. Continue straight on at Twechar and continue to T-junction opposite Auchinstarry.
Turn left on to B802 for Kilsyth 0.75 mile. Stay on the undulating road into Kilsyth and go straight through roundabouts.
Continue past Lidl and at roundabout with A803, head right for Stirling.
Continue past Coachman Hotel, then turn right for Burngreen park on Station Road to return to start.
An alternative route from Kirkintilloch is to reach the traffic lights at McDonald’s and go straight ahead for 100 yards to a T-junction, then turn right to Hillhead roundabout and take second exit up the hill on Hillhead Road.
At the Forth & Clyde Canal, turn left on to a towpath and follow through Twechar to Auchinstarry.
Rejoin the B8023 before Auchinstarry bridge and at a T-junction turn left on to B802 for Kilsyth.
Follow above directions through Kilsyth and back to start.