The following is an excerpt from the book. The photos don't fit as they do in the book but this is just an excerpt anyway.
6. Loch Garbad Approximately 3.5 miles / 2 hours
I’ve included Loch Garbad because it’s such a pretty wee stroll for a quiet or an easy day. With a round trip of under 3 miles and no hills to speak of, it won’t leave you exhausted but it will still be memorable and one to talk about over dinner for years to come.
On the C147, just opposite the westerly arm of the Kildonan road, there’s a wee car park (NS0189:2175). That’s about all of the directions you need as the path is clear and straight forward. There’s even an information board to provide that little extra.
Panoramic Auchenhew gorge
The path rises through mixed woodland that looks down upon the very impressive Auchenhew gorge. About 500 yards up the path there’s a viewing point where the sheer sides of the gorge and the Eas Mor waterfall can be viewed. Don’t miss it! In my opinion the gorge is more impressive than Glenashdale though the viewing points aren’t as well developed.
When you’ve torn yourself away from the wonderful views of the gorge and walked on a short distance you’ll come to a fork in the path and a sign pointing to the right: LIBRARY 200M.
This way to the library
On my first trip up to Loch Garbad I thought this was a joke. However, it’s not and it’s well worth a detour.
If you have decided to take the detour, you’ll cross a small stream that’s called the Allt Mor. The Allt Mor feeds the gorge waterfall.
Don’t be tempted to wander down the stream to have a look-see. It really is vertical and not worth the risk. Take care!
The ‘library’ is an outdoor learning centre, covered in children’s drawings and information about the area. It is not usually attended but always open. It’s a lovely place and looks out over Pladda and towards the Ailsa Craig. The gorge is close-by so again, take care.
There is also a path that leads from the library down to Auchenhew wood and a car park. I’d suggest returning this way after the trip to Loch Garbad as it leads past some pretty pools that simply beg to be the site of a short rest.
However, from the library return to the main path and follow it upwards past a few fields then through conifer on a forestry path. It’s never difficult though I always find mature pinewood, set in military precision to be slightly spooky.
Without much warning Loch Garbad appears. It is very picturesque and an ideal place for a picnic. It is possible to circumnavigate the loch but I wouldn’t advise it as there are no clear paths and only the determined will make it round. Far better to restrict yourself to the area at the most southerly point, watch the tiny fish and dip your toes for a wee paddle.
The return to the car park is by retracing your steps. However, this is often the best part of the walk as there’s more opportunity to relax in the downhill and take in what you missed on the way up. Close to the car park there are a few other paths that are worth exploring as are the paths on the other side of the C147.
As an aside; the road opposite the car park leads down to Kildonan. If you have the time, a visit to Seal Shore at Auchenhew is a ‘must’.
At the bottom of the hill take the dirt track to the right and park at the end of the road. Walk in a northerly direction along the shore and if you see fewer than 50 seals, it’s a bad day.
Around ½ mile from the end of the road and cascading down from low cliffs, the last gasp of the Levencorrach Burn tumbles. This small but spectacular waterfall is just off the shore at NS008:212. Since you’re there, why don’t you take a wee wander up.
What a lovely place