Caldercruix to Cumbernauld
Start: Caldercruix railway station
Finish: Cumbernauld railway station
Refreshment: Cumbernauld town centre is well served with cafes, pubs, restaurants and a main shopping centre www.visitlanarkshire.com
Distance: 15 miles
Time: 2-3 hours
Difficulty: Moderate (hard in places)
Terrain: Traffic-free cycle path and then minor back roads. This is a route for confident cyclists as roads through Cumbernauld can be busy.
Points of Interest
1. Hillend Loch
- more than 200 years old, the loch was once the biggest man-made lake in the world. A popular spot with anglers, it still supplies water to the Forth & Clyde Canal and the Monklands Canal between Coatbridge and Glasgow
2. Mexican Hat
- this is a rare and unusual landmark in an otherwise empty moorland. The mound resembles a Mexican sombrero and is formed of spoil from Lochend Pit No 5, which operated here between 1880 and 1948.
3. Fannyside Muir
- is an expanse of valuable raised peat bog around the Fannyside Loch - close to the top of the final climb. Up to 12 meters deep and laid down over thousands of years, the bog is rich in plant and animal life. Look out for dragonflies, grouse and snipe.
From Caldercruix railway station - making sure you are on the platform 2 side of the tracks - turn right along Station Road/Main Street, a traffic-calmed residential street, and continue past the Railway Tavern.
At the T-junction turn left at the 'Welcome to Caldercruix' sign and then immediately right to take up the NCN 75 cycle path signed for Bathgate 10.
The cycle path has an excellent surface. Cross over the new bridge over the stream and stick with path. Look out for sculptures along the way.
The path draws level with Hillend reservoir. Continue between the reservoir and the new railway line, past Hillend fishing lodge to the
end of loch and then continue over the road.
Resume the cycle path and continue east until you come to second road. Leave the path at Forestfield Road and turn left uphill. The road climbs moderately steeply across open moor and raised bog, and the very distinctive spoil heaps known locally as the Mexican Hat will be on your right. At the end of Forrestfield Road turn left on to the B825 (Caldercruix Road). Continue until you reach the junction
with Telegraph Road, signed Longriggend and Upperton, (for a major short cut, continue straight on, returning to Caldercruix station – one mile). Turn right on to Telegraph Road, travel uphill until you eventually come to Longriggend. At a ‘give way’ sign in Longriggend, turn left on to Main Street. After about half a mile, follow around to the right and over a bridge. Continue downhill for a short distance and then take the first right at the very edge of Longriggend.
Follow the road uphill as it bends away to the left. Continue uphill past Roughrigg – beware as the road narrows in places. Follow around to the left at Roughrigg farm. The road will begin to descend and then makes a short rise to a T-junction (B803) – visibility here is limited, so take care.
Re-enter North Lanarkshire. Follow the B803 for one mile. Turn right at sign for Cumbernauld – Fannyside Rd. Follow the road downhill and then climb up to Fannyside Loch – a single-track road with passing places. The road then descends to a T-junction with Forest Road in Cumbernauld. Turn left in the direction of Cumbernauld which is a further one mile. At the roundabout take the first exit and continue past the petrol station on right (no footway). At the Carbrain junction descend and go under a road bridge (footway is on the right). Cycle uphill away from bridge.
Then, beyond Suresafe, turn right on to Kelvin Road North. Go almost to the bottom of the hill, past the car-park area. Branch right on to the footpath and follow to bridge over the railway line at Cumbernauld station. Take the path to the right before the bridge for trains to
Gartcosh, Stepps and Glasgow (westbound), or go over bridge and turn down right for trains to Falkirk (eastbound).
Tel: 08457 55 00 33