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CULLALOE
HILLS

   
DISTANCE 3.5 KM
   
GRADE MEDIUM
   
UPDATED September 2000


Introduction:
There are a number of tracks through the Cullaloe Hills / Woods that may be ridden but the main route is a track running from east to west that is suitable for off road vehicles (Land Rovers etc.). This route is not technically difficult although it is very undulating, very badly rutted and extremely muddy in places. Even in summer the wet patches are very persistent in the shade of the trees. Also watch for fallen trees / branches across the track particularly when descending.

Getting There:
Entry at the West end of the track is by Goat Quarry. Continue south from the quarry entrance through a double hairpin bend. The entrance is now immediately on your left through a locked gate. Please pay attention to the warning notices, they are informing you of quarry operations and are not intended to dissuade you from entering. From the east end entry can be gained of the Cowdenbeath to Bernards Smithy / Burntisland Road A909. Again heading south from Cowdenbeath pass the Mossmoran Ethylene plant, straight on at the roundabout, around a couple of bends. Entry to the forest track is on the right hand side through a locked gate.

Route Description:
My favourite direction, for this ride, is from west to east, getting onto the track by Goat Quarry after climbing up from the coast at Dalgety Bay. Its just as enjoyable though from either direction. Then I normally ride straight through and out onto the Cowdenbeath road as part of a longer route. After passing through a locked gate just down the hill from Goat Quarry start to climb along the track through a shaded wooded area. It is normally muddy through this section with puddles across the width of the track. The climb starts to become steeper although nothing to severe for a mountain bike gearing. After about 800 metres the trees thin out and the path gets closer to the side of the quarry. The track 'flattens out' a bit here and becomes noticeably smoother for a short distance before another short steep climb. The track is very badly rutted here and very muddy during wet weather. Once the incline eases a bit, looking back to the south west gives excellent views of the Forth bridges and Edinburgh and the Pentlands to the south of the Forth. Forest cover is sparse at this point with the quarry edge clearly visible on the left. After about 100 metres the track splits with the left fork turning back into the quarry through gate [DO NOT ENTER THIS AREA]. Carry on to the right descending down into the forest once more. The track is very uneven and can be very wet and slippery following any rain. Following a descent of about 650 metres the track bottoms out and then starts climbing again. At the end of the climb the track splits, take the right fork [going left eventually brings you back onto route, with a few small offshoot tracks to explore on the way]. A little further along the track you reach a stone folly and then continue along the track for another 100 metres or so. The track again splits in two. [a] The left fork passes a radio mast on your left and then continues with the track getting narrower and also more difficult to negotiate. Continuing along this track brings you to a small stone tower perched on the edge of a steep drop on the hill. The track turns rapidly to the left before descending down the hill side to meet the main route across the hills. [b] If you wish to carry on straight through the forest take the right fork just before the radio mast descending down the track. Again take care as quite high speeds can be reached on the descent and the track is very uneven and is usually slippery when it is wet. After a descent of about 550 metres the terrain rises once more before levelling out at the edge of the forest. Pass round a gate and onto the A909 Cowdenbeath to Burntisland road.

Return Route:
There are two ways of returning to the start. Either retrace your route through the forest or if you want a slightly easier way back on relatively traffic free back roads turn left after passing the gate onto the A909 and continue until a roundabout is reached. Turn left and continue along a straight road for about 1.5 Km. take the first turn on the left then left turn again. Follow the road south until you reach Goat Quarry.

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