Glen Tanar, Glen Mark, Mount Keen and Heart Break Ridge
Updated: Feb 10
This is a big day out. I started at the carpark in Dinnet and cut across country in to Glen Tanar. Follow the river through old pine forest into the heart of Glen Tanar. A section of track may be closed to protect riders and walkers from an aggressive capercaillie - all the closed sections are well signed.
The path, known as the Firmounth, leaves the tree line on to open moorland and the view to the south and Glen Mark slowly appears. After a boggy section over the top, the path improves and sweeps down into civilization. Here, I did a section on the road up to Loch Lee. Invermark Castle, working hunting lodge and Loch Lees are worth a look.
The long climb starts through Glen Mark and tops out on Mount Keen, the eastern most Munro. There is an opportunity to take a path to the summit, or skirt the western edge. Both routes have fantastic views towards the Cairngorm massive in the west and the sea in the east.
A steep and loose descent, a 30 min hike-bike and ridge ride lead to Heartbreak Ridge above Ballater. This trail has become a Deeside classic, and is maybe suffering from a bit too much riding - so watch-out for the boggy holes. Follow the cairns across bare granite all the way down the ridge, through the woods and on to the road.