Walk: Smuggler's Cave delivers the goods

[Smuggler's Cave]

The southern wall of the Ochil Hills is riven by a series of rocky gorges, in stark contrast to the neighboring great plains of the Forth valley. Alva Glen is as dramatic and scenic as its counterparts, filled with a series of five waterfalls in its forested lower reaches, while small reservoirs and dams are testament to the valley's once thriving textile industry. Smuggler's Cave is the glen's other unique feature: a yawning chasm of bare rock with a hidden waterfall at the top of it as the burn squeezes into the upper cavern. There's a lot of steep and dangerous ground around here, so it's probably inadvisable to venture off the paths.

[Excellent views over much of Clackmannanshire from Pate Road]

Name: Walk: Smuggler's Cave delivers the goods ★★☆
Length: 3 km / 2 miles
Ascent: 200 metres
Points of interest: Alva Glen; Smuggler's Cave
Start / finish: Car park at the top of Brook Street, Alva, G.R.: NS 884975 / banquets shiver shortcuts

Route: Car park - Alva Glen - Smuggler's Cave - return start via path (Pate Road) traversing slopes west of Alva Glen
Terrain: Excellent path in gorge becomes steep and narrow further up and for return.
Wildlife today: Not much - although lots of dog walkers!
Weather today: Mostly overcast, temperatures in single figures with a dusting of fresh snow on Ochil summits.

[One of Alva Glen's waterfalls]

Route credit: Scotland off the beaten track


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