Date/TimeDate(s) - 25/05/2008
Walk DetailsPub Stop?: No O/S Map Sheet No.: 44 Grid Ref. Start: Grid Ref. Finish Walk (Miles): 15 Walk Hours: Bus Time to Walk: Bus Time from Walk: Departure time from walk:
The walk today starts at the head of Glen Esk and crosses the hills to the north to descend into Glenatanar and follow the glen down to reach Glentanar House. Our track, called the Firmounth, crosses the shoulder of Mount Keen, the most easterly of the local Munro’s, but a slight variation in our route allows us to take in the summit of Mount Keen.
The walk commences at the car park at Invermark near the head of Glen Esk (NGR 447.804), from where we take the road past the church and across the bridge over the Water of Mark. A signposted right-of-way track on the right hand side then leads past the farm of Auchronie. The track then proceeds up Glen Mark following the bank of the Water of Mark for one and a half miles to reach the Queen’s Well, which was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s crossing of the Mounth here in 1861. Just beyond the Well we pass the lonely shepherd’s house of Glenmark, now a holiday home. The track then crosses first the Easter Burn and then the Ladder Burn before commencing the steep ascent up the slopes of Couternach, leading to the high moorland of Knowe of Crippley. The sharp cone of Mount Keen soon comes into view about a mile to the north. We come to a fork in the track – the path to the right climbing up towards the summit of Mount Keen, while the Mounth track heads to the left over the western shoulder of the hill. A stiff climb up the path leads to the large summit cairn (939m, 3097ft) from where, if visibility is good, a wide panorama of the Dee Valley and the Eastern Cairngorms is revealed.
From the summit the path drops steeply north-westwards to rejoin the Mounth track which the curves round the Hill of Corrach before heading north/northeastwards down to the ford over the Water of Tanar near the ruins of the old inn of Coirebhruach where several old tracks converge.
After crossing the Water of Tanar the estate road down the glen is picked up and followed eastwards, crossing two bridges and passing close to the lonely farm of Etnach. After several miles of open moorland the first trees of Glentanar Forest are reached and the possible resting place of the halfway hut.
The road continues through the trees alongside the Water of Tanar for a further three miles until the outbuildings around Glentanar House are reached. A road on the left, signposted ‘ca canny doon the brae’, is taken bypassing most of the outbuildings and the house itself. This continues down the glen past the home farm and leads to the visitor centre and car park at Braeloine, where our bus will be parked (NGR 480.966)