Distance: 11.1km (6.9 miles).
Climbing: 240m (787ft).
Time: 1hr to 1hr 30mins.
There’s plenty of history in these hills, with old bridges, buildings and sluices to see. Good trails and stunning views make for a great family day out, and it’s not far from Glasgow.
Greenock Cut car park, Overton Road (grid ref NS 266/749, postcode PA16 9NW).
Greenock is west of Glasgow on the Firth of Clyde coast. Take the M8 and then A8 west, into Greenock. Turn south onto the B7054 and follow the brown Greenock Cut road signs. Pass Whinhill Primary School on Papermill Road, then take the first left, into Overton Road, and continue to the car park.
Maps & books
Ordnance Survey Landranger 63: Firth of Clyde.
Scotland Mountain Biking: The Wild Trailsby Phil McKane (Vertebrate Publishing).
There are plenty of places to eat and stay in Greenock, including the Premier Inn (0871 527 8476) and camping at Barnbrock Farm near Lochwinnoch (01505 614791). There’s a cafe at Greenock Cut visitor centre, on the route, by Loch Thom. For spares, try Halfords in Greenock, on the sea front.
Go up to the end of the car park and turn right to join the Greenock Cut trail, which is easy and flat, with great views along the route. Follow this trail all the way (over 6km) to Shielhill.
Cross the road at Shielhill and continue on the track to the visitor centre at Cornalees Bridge. After some refreshment, stay on the trail heading north beside Compensation Reservoir, on Waterman’s Road.
At Loch Thom, bear left at the fork, uphill and away from the lake. Follow this track straight ahead (the left turn takes you to the mast, which is another good viewpoint). At Overton Reservoir, cross the bridge and continue back down to the car park.
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Routes produced in association with Rough Ride Guide
MBUK Big Ride images by Russell Burton