Duration: 2.75 hours.
This walk provides a fairly gentle excursion into the Deeside countryside with good open views at many points. Much of the route is on the Deeside Way path and cycle-way, in parallel with the Old Military Road. There is a gentle, but relentless, ascent for the first 4 km which may surprise you. On a Saturday morning we were also surprised by how quiet the trail was. We encountered only two biking groups, and two other walkers. The route turns at the Shooting Greens car-park. Soldiers building the road reputedly camped here and practised rifle shooting. Circling Muckle Ord hill in Slewdrum Forest, there is a good viewpoint over the River Dee. The walk starts and ends at the Potarch Green, once the site of an old market and fair. Before or after the walk we suggest taking a stroll over the nearby Potarch Bridge, where there are fine views of the River Dee and the Dee Valley. Completed in 1813, to a design by engineer Thomas Telford, this is a handsome 3-span bridge with pedestrian refuges. Just upstream from the bridge is a place called “Jock’s Leap”, where the river rushes between ledges of rough flat rocks. A local story from the 18thC tells of Jock Young, a local Deeside lad accused of theft, who escaped from his captors by jumping across the rocky gap where the river narrows. Apparently, his freedom did not last, and Jock eventually encountered the hangman’s noose. Just before the bridge you will pass a fine old building, the former Potarch Hotel, now an attractive bistro-style café/restaurant looking out over the Potarch Green. The first inn was built at Potarch in 1740, becoming a popular stopping point for travellers after the construction of the bridge. Outside the hotel you will find the “Dinnie Stanes”, a pair of lifting stones made famous by local stonemason Donald Dinnie, who carried the stones across the width of the Potarch Bridge in 1860, and went on to have an illustrious international career as a “strongman”. For more info, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinnie_Stones
Book recommendations for this region:
Basic Equipment for Hiking
- Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
- Layered, moisture wicking clothing
- Hiking socks
- Rucksack (with rain cover)
- Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
- Hiking poles
- Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
- First aid kit
- Blister kit
- Bivy / survival bag
- Survival blanket
- Pocket knife
- Cell phone
- Navigation equipment / map and compass
- Emergency contact details
- The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
- For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
- Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.