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|Location||Off the A762 road and the Raiders Road. Parking at Bennan Viewpoint car park. Uphill circular walk to viewpoint is 2.5km.|
Bennan Walk and Viewpoint
The viewpoint, which has interpretative boards and a 'summer seat', overlooks Loch Ken and the surrounding mosaic of pasture and woodlands, providing a true birds-eye view of the area. It is reached by a choice of atmospheric woodland paths, which give a real flavour of western Scottish conifer forests, though there is also a strong broadleaved element on the steeper slopes. The Secret Cages are reached from an offshoot of the longer route.
Kites sometimes circle high above Bennan, but they might just as easily be seen soaring below the viewpoint! Although perhaps not the most likely place to see kites on the trail, nonetheless, Bennan Viewpoint offers an unrivalled panorama of the area and the opportunity for some stimulating exercise; and, who knows, one might just see a kite, too!
Throughout the year the woodlands have common woodland birds such as blue tits, coal tits, great tits, long-tailed tits, bullfinches, wrens, great-spotted woodpeckers, goldcrests and robins etc; siskins and crossbills are numerous in good cone years. On the lower slopes it is also possible to see or hear the elusive and less common green woodpeckers and willow tits. In spring and summer, these are joined by willow warblers, blackcaps, chiffchaffs and wood warblers, which together with mavis (song thrushes) and blackbirds, provide an impressive dawn chorus. In contrast, the rasping of jays is a regular feature. Buzzards, kestrels and sparrowhawks are often seen in this area, while a variety of waterfowl can be seen flying up and down Loch Ken.
Red squirrels and roe deer are quite commonly seen in the woodland edge, especially in early morning. Nearby Loch Ken, Mossdale Loch and Loch Stroan are very popular with anglers, with details available from Mossdale Shop.
How to get there
Bennan Viewpoint car park is sign-posted off the A762 5km north of Mossdale. From the car park there is a choice of routes to the viewpoint. The lower and less steep route is 2.5km and initially descends from the car park before following a forestry track uphill; the Secret Cages (c 1km) are best reached from this lower route. The shorter, steeper path ascends from the car park and the viewpoint is reached after 1km. From the viewpoint, the Secret Cages are most easily reached by taking the longer route back to the car park.