Grey Mare’s Tail Nature Reserve

Low Level Walks
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About Grey Mare’s Tail Nature Reserve

The National Trust for Scotland’s Grey Mare’s Tail Reserve is most famous for its impressive waterfall that gives the reserve its name, however, the remote and wild mountainous landscape above the waterfall coupled with its outstanding botanical richness make the reserve one of Scotland’s Upland jewels. Grey Mare’s Tail is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, who come to see the rare upland plants, peregrine falcons, ring ouzels, feral goats and, if you’re lucky, ospreys fishing in the loch.

There is a choice of walks including a short easy stroll to Waterfall viewpoint, within in 5 minutes/150 meters from the car park or a more strenuous linear route up steep pitched path on gorge edge that levels out to Loch Skeen. This route takes approximately 1 hour each way and total length 4km/2 ½ miles. Paths are rough and steep in places and can be dangerous. Wear footwear with good grip and keep to the paths.

Grey Mare’s Tail is one of Scotland’s favourite waterfalls taking a spectacular 60m plunge into the valley below and is the fifth highest cascade in Britain. Perched high above the Moffat Water, the Tail Burn flows through the hanging valley and then tumbles abruptly over a series of cascades and plunge pools into the valley below. The safest view of the waterfall is from the drystone enclosure on the right-hand side of the Tail Burn. This resembles the stells or sheepfolds that were once common in the landscape and has information panels about the site’s history, abundant wildlife, and its inspiration to famous writers.

The Reserve is also home to Loch Skeen, Southern Scotland’s highest upland loch and sits over 500m (1640ft) above sea level. Its clear, unpolluted water is home to Britain’s rarest freshwater fish, the vendace – recently successfully introduced as part of a species recovery programme.

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