Muckhart and Rumbling Bridge Circular
This lovely circular walk starts from the Pool of Muckhart takes you past Muckhart Mill and through the Rumbling Bridge Gorge before returning to Muckhart via farm tracks. There is about 180m of ascent in total but it is spread out across the walk making this pretty much a flat walk. The route is entirely on paths / tracks and quiet roads although some bits can be very muddy.
For the more adventurous walker, a detour to the Cauldron Linn waterfall is possible. This was a tourist hotspot back in Victorian times, but today it is seldom visited, probably in part due to being a bit awkward to reach.
- Distance: 11 km / 6.5 – 7 miles
- Ascent: 180m / 600 feet
- Terrain: Mostly paths and tracks but some bits may be muddy. Detour to Cauldron Linn is rough and steep.
- Start/finish: Coronation Hall, Pool of Muckhart, FK14 7JF, some parking available.
Start from the Coronation Hall in Pool of Muckhart on School Road where there are a few parking places. Walk to the far end of School Road and join the path that is a continuation of the road. This path was the old road to Muckhart and is now classified as a heritage path. The first section of the path leads to Muckhart Primary School where you reach a public road. Cross over the road and continue onwards along the next section of the path to The Leys Farm. Walk past the farm buildings and through a gate into a field where there is a Scotways green footpath sign.
Around the gate the field can be very muddy where tractors have churned up the ground and there is no obvious path on the ground. Stick to the right hand side of the trees that cross the field, going downhill to join an obvious though muddy track. The track now goes down hill to the Hole Burn where there is a ford and a wooden footbridge. After the bridge there is a better track which leads past Cowden Farm and to a cross roads.
Turn left at the cross roads for Muckhart Mill and walk down to the old mill building nestled amongst the trees. The mill has been renovated into private houses but the mill wheel is still present on the side of one of the buildings. Nearby are also the remains of a limekiln.
Turn left at the mill passing the limekiln and start to go uphill on a good track which takes you to the next settlement, Blairhill Farm.
From Blairhill, the adventurous walker can make a detour to the Cauldron Linn waterfall. However, bear in mind that this is a steep descent down a rough and slippery path. Footwear with good grip is essential.
The path to Cauldron Linn starts from the south west of Blairhill Farm buildings to the south of the track. Initially a grassy path heads west before turning south downhill. The path is not always obvious but stick to the right hand side of the wall, moving more to the right when an obvious dip in the ground starts to form. The path now follows the centre of the dip and descends steeply down into the gorge. At times the path is rough and slippery, fallen branches don’t help either. Once down into the gorge the path improves as it turns eastwards upstream. Pass the remains of an old bridge over the river and continue upstream on a now obvious path. Aim for the small hydro plant and over the stone steps at the other side. Cauldron Linn now lies ahead. From this viewpoint, the upper fall is not visible. It’s necessary to cross to the other side for the best views, although this may not always be possible (or advisable) when the river is in spate.
Return to Blairhill by the same route. The more obvious route up out of the gorge leads into a private garden and should not be used.
From Blairhill the track becomes a surfaced road which takes you to the small village of Rumbling Bridge.
Cross over the main road at Rumbling Bridge, go through the gate on the opposite side and into the gorge. A short diversion to your right leads to a viewing point for the double bridge structure. Follow the path through the gorge staying on the same side when you reach a footbridge. The gorge and its waterfall are spectacular. It is worth going out on to the wooden bridges to get the best views. When you reach the upper gorge the river becomes a bit calmer and the footpath brings you out onto a quiet road.
Turn right on to the road for 150m until you reach a signed track on your left on the opposite side of the road. This track now takes you through farmland with good views across to the Ochil Hills. Stay on this track for about 1.3km until you reach a junction. At this point you could stay on the track but if you prefer walking on a softer surface there is a gate on your left to a footpath that runs more or less parallel to the road.
At the end of the footpath where it rejoins the road, turn left keeping a farm building to your left and a pond on your right. After about 800m this track reaches the main road at Yetts of Muckhart. However, don’t go out on to the road but turn sharply left on to yet another access road for a cluster of houses. Stay on this road for about 400m until you see a grassy (and possibly a bit muddy) path veering right with a wooden marker post.This path takes you to a group of pinkish coloured houses which you should keep right of.
Follow the access road for these houses as it turns right and brings you out to a main road. Take care as you cross over the road to join another path on the opposite side. This next path takes you past an area of recently planted woodland and through a gate before reaching the outskirts of Muckhart. Turn right at the end of the path (left is signed for Dollar and will take you to the Golf Club) to reach the Coronation Hall after 140m.