Midmuir Drove Road
Start location: Creag Mhor, unclassified road to Musdale (NM 927 234)
End location: Kilchrenan (NN 035 231)
Geographical area: Argyll and Bute
Path Type: Pilgrimage Route, Drove Road
Path distance: 12km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians, Suitable for Bikes
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From Kilmore take the rough road which heads generally ESE towards Musdale. At NM927234, near Creag Mhor, the right of way and historic line of the old drove road leaves the Musdale road and heads east. Alternatively, continue along the Musdale road for less than 1km to NM930227, where a more substantial track is signposted as the right of way to Kilchrenan. This track meets the historic line at NM935231; head east from there past Midmuir and to the north of Sior Loch. Follow the north bank of the Abhainn Cam Linne, then cross it to reach the head of Loch Nant continuing round the south of the loch. At NN009232 the hydro track diverts from the line of the drove road, but the old route is signposted as a right of way. Continue east through the Bealach Mor following red banded posts through the forestry. Upon exiting the trees it is a further kilometre or so to reach the road just north of Kilchrenan.
We think it likely that there's a cycleable variant of this route, but we'd welcome confirmation of that. Try using the signposted western endpoint, and also avoid the rough eastern section by staying on the hydro road - and let us know how you get on!
OS Landranger 49 (Oban & East Mull) and 50 (Glen Orchy & Loch Etive)
As its name suggests this path was used by drovers. ARB Haldane's book The Drove Roads of Scotland (1952) discusses the heavy use of this route by droving traffic in the eighteenth and first half of the nineteenth centuries. A lot of cattle were raised in Mull, travelled from there via Kerrera and in the main along this route to reach the crossing point of Loch Awe at Taychreggan and thence onwards to the trysts at Crieff and later Falkirk. Kilmore and Kilchrennan themselves also held local markets.
The importance of this moorland route is also reflected by reports of thieves preying on the traders attending the market at Kilmore. It is said that money was extorted from chapmen and merchants using routes such as this one between Kilmore and Kilchrenan.
Many centuries ago, before the time of the drovers, it would almost certainly also have been a very significant pilgrimage route used by people going in the opposite direction, to get to Iona.
In 1952, Haldane refers to Midmuir being a shepherd's house. Only ruins lie there now.