Kingdom of Fife Millennium
Hardest and longest.
Shorter than the Red route.
Shortest and easiest route.
The Kingdom of Fife Cycle route from Lochore
runs through Blairadam to connect with the main cycle route to the west
These routes have all suffered in one way or another from recent forestry
operations. Blairadam is great if you like mud, so unless the damaged
roads are going to be resurfaced I would not recommend these routes for
family groups, indeed all routes are uphill, the severity of the climbs
never fails to knacker me!
All routes start at the south-east corner of the Forest. There are two
ways to get there, one from the B914 Kelty to Saline Road and from Keltybridge.
It is not recommended that you park at the start, at the time of writing
there are four burnt out cars at the starting point. Best places are in
Keltybridge or near the houses about half way down from the B914.
The route leads into the trees and takes the first left, after the bridge,
into “the Glen,” then follows the burn uphill, passing a large brick block,
which was once the support pillar for a railway bridge built to service
the nearby pit. Towards the end, of the road turns away from the burn,
climbing amongst the trees. The yellow route then connects with the Red
and Blue routes at a T-junction. Turn right, onto the well surfaced path.
Follow the path over Pierre's Burn Bridge, which has been closed to vehicular
traffic by the erection of a set of crude, hideous barriers. On the far
side of the bridge, the road surface is on the rough side, never having
recovered from previous forestry operations. There is an almost overgrown
track on the left which leads to the abandoned Lochgelly Town Council
water filter beds. The road ends at a T-junction, the yellow route turns
to the right, while the Red and Blue continues leftwards. The yellow route
uses a grassed over road until it ends at a fire break, and then continues
on a muddy track down hill to another T-junction. If you like a clean
bike, shoes and clothes, you will be careful at this junction, the mud
is expansive and deep, up to the wheel hubs - I know! The route turns
left and joins the bed of the of railway mentioned earlier, towards the
end of this part of the route is the site of the Blairenbathie Pit, a
concrete foundation and a small coal bing are the only reminders of this
pit. The next turn is not marked probably due to the pile of trees trunks
awaiting collection, turn right, rejoin the Red and Blue routes and continue
all the way down hill over the bridge and back to the starting point.
Starting from the south-east corner of the forest it continues uphill,
through a set of gates. The surface is tarred to start with though later
on, it changes to a reasonable forest road. Near the top, the road crosses
an open area which is believed to be the site of a coal mine. The old
railway crossed the road at this point and has been recently been adopted
as a footpath. Continue uphill, past a road on the left then look out
for a widened “parking area” and the marker post on the right. Take the
path on the right and continue over Pierre's Bridge to the T-junction,
this time turn left. The surface of this track is hard, rough and in places
trenched by water flows. The road emerges at a cross roads with a bewildering
marker post, partly due to the number of route arrows and partly because
it was lying on the ground, recently fallen over. Turn left, the road
surface degenerates because of previous forestry operations and erosion.
At one point the road is surfaced with bricks which is an unusual choice
of material. At the top turn right, the road surface at this point is
dire, deep muddy puddles and ruts awaits. At the end of this road is a
T-junction, the Red route turns left and uphill while the Blue route turns
right and down to the cross roads, this time turn left and follow the
road down hill. The view has been improved since the tree felling, views
of the three villages and Lochore Meadows can be had from here. Continue
all the way down to the coal bing to connect with the unmarked Yellow
route which leads down hill to the starting point.
From the point where the Blue route turns right to go down hill, the Red
route goes left and uphill. Continue all the way uphill, the forestry
roads have taken a heavy pounding, the cross roads at the top is surfaced
in large uncomfortable stones, almost boulders. Cross straight over and
past the radio mast, the route from the mast onwards becomes dire, care
should be taken at this part of the route, deep ruts and muddy puddles
await you. The route emerges out of the trees at another T-junction, turn
left and up hill to the ruined cottage, turn left, and through the gate
back into the trees. This used to be a good road, it again has suffered
under the wheels of the lorries. Back at the cross roads, continue straight
on following this road all the way to the bottom, then turn right and
continue to an unusual three way junction, keep to the left and onto another
muddy road. Follow this road, as it turns back on itself, before heading
uphill. A short cut is available, for those wishing to avoid the muddy
climb ahead, look for a gap in the trees, sometimes awash with water which
crosses the road, turn left and follow this small “fire break” down to
the next road then turn left, going downhill at the bing. Otherwise continue
uphill, again the road has suffered mainly soft mud and shallow ruts.
At the top, turn left and go down hill, joining with the Blue route, down
to the cross roads, left and all the way down hill to the start.
The Kingdom Cycle Route
The route passes the starting point and follows the Red and Blue routes
uphill, around a Forest Enterprise gate, past the turn off for the Red
and Blue routes and all the way up to the next gate, take care here and
at the next gate when going around it is easy to drop into a ditch. The
main Kingdom Cycle route is ahead. Turning left will lead to Dunfermline
while right will lead over the Cleish Hills to Kinross. Note the signpost
diamonds should be Red and not the “local route” green diamonds.
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