Now that the days are getting shorter after daylight savings time has come into effect, day hikes seem to require a bit more strategic planning. First of all, I pretty much can’t stay on a hill past 4 in the afternoon unless I am prepared to wander in the dark. Second, it got cold really fast within the past two weeks. If I even manage to get myself out of bed early on a Saturday, then I’d better make sure that wherever I go, the day is not wasted because of poor planning on my part.
Keeping this in mind, I went on my first hike after returning to Scotland from Canada. The Callander Crags hasn’t been on my list of places to go, but it caught my attention after I found out how easy (relatively) it was to access with public transportation from Glasgow. I would of course combine the trip with a visit to Bracklinn Falls, which was a convenient detour (in fact I first went to the falls, then up the crags). And I love love LOVE waterfalls, so there was no excuse not to go.
One problem was that it was forecasted to rain in Callander on Saturday, at least in the morning anyway. I had to make sure that I arrived in Callander just after it stopped raining, but not too late so that I wouldn’t be able to finish the entire hike before it got dark. I seriously contemplated cancelling the plan because rain in general was the biggest turn-off any trip, but I went for it anyway, fully anticipating slipper slopes and muddy tracks. Stupidity or adventure? You decide.
From Callander to Bracklinn Falls
Woodlands on the way to Bracklinn Falls
Beginning the hike in Callander
As I was taking the bus from Stirling to Callander, it was raining mildly (I was praying hard that it would stop raining when I started hiking). I had my rain gear ready, knowing that it wouldn’t be a dry hike, but hoped that by the time I began walking, I didn’t have to deal with an umbrella when going uphill. On the other hand, with the rain, I did anticipate the waterfalls more than I initially did, as I speculated that a rainy morning would add a lot of volume to a waterfall. I got to Callander just before noon, which meant that I had around 4 hours to cover both Bracklinn Falls and the crags if I wanted to be back before it got too dark. From Callander, I followed a marked path uphill to the starting point of the Bracklinn Falls circuit and began the search for the waterfall.