Minch Moor route
The Minchmoor Road was at one time the main route across southern Scotland and the old road east from Traquair has been in use for over 800 years. Climbing steeply between twin dykes to the bothy set at the edge of Elibank and Traquair Forest, the stony track climbs up through trees to the open moor land of the Minch Moor.
This is the route by which Montrose and his cavaliers fled from Philiphaugh. Tales of buried treasure cling to Minchmoor, dating back to conflicting legends. One tells of Montrose throwing his treasure chest into the dark Mystor pool in Yarrow, telling the Devil to keep it for him until he returned. Another legend says that Montrose cast his chest in at the door of a cottage at Foulshiels before galloping on to the safety of Traquair.
The promoted route which has been significantly improved as part of the South of Scotland Countryside Trails project follows the old drove and coach road south from Brown Know down to Yarrowford. Alternatively, for a longer riding route, continue east on the Southern Upland Way to the Three Brethren, Yair and Selkirk - these routes are not actively promoted as riding routes so the gates may be less easy to open and there is no guarantee as to the condition of the route, but there is nothing to stop you exploring. Other hard forest tracks and narrower informal paths offer infinite permutations on these main routes for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders.
You can download an online map of the Minchmoor Route through the BHS EMAGIN website by clicking here. From the Scotland section of "Where to Ride" scroll down the list of routes to South of Scotland Countryside Trails, which will take you to an overview map of the network. The Minch Moor route is south of Innerleithen, leading east over to the Yarrow Valley. You can get a more detailed map of the route by changing the map type in the horizontal menu bar above the map to 1:2,500 OS scale. At this larger scale you can also track in any direction to see other SoSCT routes which link with the Minch Moor route.