Adventures Galore in Galloway Forest Park
Galloway Forest Park covers an area of approximately three hundred square miles, and is a rugged landscape filled with magnificent mountains such as Mullwharcher, Rhinns of Kells, Dungeon, Icy Hand and The Merrick. Its endless hills and open ranges, blanketed by conifers and lush vegetation, make it hard to believe that such a picturesque part of Scotland could have been witness to historical battles and bloodshed. Each site in Galloway Forest Park has its own story and its own beauty to share.
The park, located in the southwest of Scotland, is especially popular with cyclists and nature lovers, and has many entrances available to visitors depending on the area they wish to explore. With two hundred miles of trails and routes, tranquil waterfalls, stone heads and an abundance of wildlife, the Galloway Forest Park is a natural forest paradise that attracts more than eight hundred local and international visitors each year.
Briefly looking at the history of the Galloway Forest Park, there are a few events that stand out and are legendary. The Merrick is the highest mountain found in Scotland and was the scene of both the murder of the Coventanter Martyrs and the Battle of the Steps of Trool. The forest was also home to Robert the Bruce once and his campaigns to secure Scottish independence from Edward I. Galloway is also remembered for a time in Scottish history, referred to as the Killing Time, when under the rule of Charles II, covenanters were hunted and slaughtered by the king’s government and troops. The visitors’ centers which are located at Clatteringshaws, Glen Trool and Kirroughtree have detailed pamphlets on the history and cycling routes of the park.
Visitors should be on the lookout for a vast range of birds and animals that roam the park, including otters, Galloway goats, red deer, golden eagles, barn owls, buzzards, crossbills and peregrine falcons. There are many noteworthy sites and attractions inside the park for visitors to stop off at during their travels, such as the Clog and Shoe Workshop, Charsphairn Heritage Centre, Raiders’ Road, Galloway Red Deer Range, Murray’s Birthplace, Murray’s Monument, Clatteringshaws Forest Wildlife Centre, Wild Goat Park, Glen of the Bar Viewpoint, Loch Ken Marina, Galloway Sailing Centre, Talnotry Waterfall and many more. The Galloway Forest Park is a combination of adventure and history, with natural wonder and the tranquility that only the great outdoors can provide.