Start location: Moss-side near Strachan (NO 699 916)
End location: West Bogton (NO 735 831)
Geographical area: Grampian
Path Type: Rural Path
Path distance: 11.1km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians
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From the north end a rough farm/forestry track goes to the ScotWays sign above Glenskinnan. An older track goes from there to the entry to forest southwest of Shillofad. A clear footpath goes through forest to emerge on good forest road on descent to Sheeoch Burn. The footpath is clear from there to the ScotWays sign at Cowie Burn junction. From there to the south end of the route is on good forest and farm roads.
Some of the tracks on south side may be suitable for less able users as they are forest roads, but there is a locked gate which may be a problem. The track on north side has 2 gates which have side gates for pedestrians. A further 2 gates are locked with no side gates, requiring either the gates or an adjacent fence to be climbed. Many of the footpaths in the middle would not be suitable other than for ambulant users or cyclists. There is also the ford of Sheeoch Burn, which although it is not wide (0.5m) or deep (30cm) it has no bridge nor any stepping stones. At the locked gate on the south side, there is access around the gate as no fence links with it, but both sides are choked with broom and gorse (1-1.5m high) making access somewhat difficult.
OS Landranger 45 (Stonehaven & Banchory)
The Stock Mounth was also known as 'The Foggy Road' among locals in Durris, fog being the Scots word for moss. This is a similar reason as some old routes are called green roads or velvet roads as the path is overgrown with turf and moss and so is soft.
It was probably used mainly as a drove road by drovers avoiding the toll at the Bridge of Dye on the better-known Cairn a' Mounth road, of course the other way travellers avoided this toll was to ford the Dye nearby to the bridge when it was not in spate. The process of droving may well be what gave the Stock Mounth its name although no confirmed sources as to the name's origin have yet been found. However, like the nearby Cryne Corse Mounth and Builg Mounth, this old route may have been used by drovers to get to St Palladius' Fair (Paldy Fair) on Herscha Hill north of Auchenblae, by Fordoun. According to ARB Haldane's The Drove Roads of Scotland, this was a tryst of some importance. In 1795, it was said that up to 3000 cattle were sold at this Fordoun cattle fair each July, and that most of them had come from the north.
In 1863, the Ordnance Survey Name Book for Kincardineshire notes that Paldy Fair is held from the first Tuesday after 11th July for three consecutive days - the first day being for Sheep, the second day for Cattle, the third for Horse and also Reapers for the harvest. The site of Paldy Fair can be seen clearly marked on OS 6" second edition mappping (1892-1905) and also on the OS 1" mapping until at least the 1950s.
The Heritage Paths project is pleased to announce that Neil Ramsay (our former Project Officer) and Nate Pedersen (one of our earliest volunteers) have teamed up to write an ebook - The Mounth Passes - with photography by long-standing ScotWays member Graham Marr. If you too are interested in the heritage of these old ways through the Grampian Mountains, we highly recommend it.