This 14-mile footpath and cycleway forms part of the Lochs and Glens Cycle Route and makes use of dismantled railway lines running west from Johnstone. Starting at Paisley Canal, the route travels west to Johnstone along a traffic-free path passing Elderslie, the birthplace of William Wallace, where there is a short on-road section. From Johnstone, the railway path continues south-west to Kilbarchan, passing the villages of Lochwinnoch and Kilbirnie, and Castle Semple, Barr and Kilbirnie Lochs.
Castle Semple Loch is a nationally recognised site for wild birds and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Castle Semple Country Park is an excellent location for walking, cycling and water sports - mountain bikes and boats are available to hire from the visitor centre. You can take a short detour from Lochwinnoch (head towards the railway station) to the Lochwinnoch RSPB Reserve where there are viewing hides, nature trails and a café. The reserve is a great place to spot a wide variety of ducks during winter and in spring there are fantastic displays of great crested grebes.
There are several train stations along the route making it easy to shorten the route or take the train back to your starting point. There is a gentle climb south from Lochwinnoch towards Kilbirnie.
We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness. However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes. Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces. Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.