RAMBLERS Scotland has revealed eight of the country’s best "hidden paths", all of which have been mapped for the first time thanks to its award-winning Scottish Paths Map.  
The walking charity’s online map features hundreds of previously unmapped trails, including paths checked and logged by more than 400 Ramblers volunteers who are based from Shetland to Dumfriesshire. 

It is hoped that that the map, which launched in 2021, will become a comprehensive map of the country’s walking routes. Volunteers have already added over 2800 new paths to the map, totalling around 1500 miles in length.  

Ramblers Scotland believes its top eight "hidden trails" have never featured on print or online maps before. All are high-quality paths that have been checked by Ramblers Scotland.

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Luke Phillips, Mapping Scotland’s Paths project manager, said: “Ramblers Scotland’s Scottish Paths Map includes many thousands of miles of paths, from traffic-free city routes to relaxing loch-side trails. As well as all the existing paths that have been checked by volunteers, we’re extra excited about the ‘hidden’ trails they’ve discovered along the way.  
“It’s been fun putting together this list, which we hope will inspire more people to use the map and add their own local paths. We’ve picked a broad range of places - from woods on the edges of housing estates to gentle rural hill walks - to showcase the potential for the map to help all sorts of walkers to discover exciting new adventures.” 

As well as recording new "hidden" paths, Ramblers Scotland volunteers have also audited 13,000 existing mapped paths, totalling around 4000 miles in length. The walking charity offers a short free online training to all its mapping volunteers, as well as access to its path-checking software. 

You can view the map and volunteer at ramblers.org.uk/scottishpathsmap.

Scottish Paths Map users are urged to exercise caution and remember the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, particularly as path assessments will always be subjective.   

Here are eight of Scotland’s best "hidden" paths:  

1. Kellie Law, Fife 
This path has never featured on Ordnance Survey or online maps, despite being fairly popular among Fife locals in the know. It leads to a scenic trig point with views across the Firth of Forth. By linking with recorded paths nearby, it creates a scenic loop, passing wildlife-filled hedgerows. Walkers should expect to need to climb a stile next to one locked gate.   

2. Lurg Loch and Little Dumglow near Cleish, Perth & Kinross 
This path allows walkers to loop around the waterlily and rush-covered Lurg Loch, and to link with two more "hidden" paths. One of the latter trails follows the grassy ridge to the scenic mini-peak of Little Dumglow, while another heads north-east to a parking spot via self-closing gates. Watch out for Buzzards, Wheatears and big views towards Loch Leven. 

The National:

3. Craig Rossie/Beld Hil near Auchterarder, Perth & Kinross 
This hill (above) near Auchterarder affords expansive views north over Strathearn that are disproportionate to the hill’s modest 410-metre height. It allows a two to three-hour circular walk. The site said: "It is surprising that the path has never before been mapped as it follows a well-used walking trail that has been widened through use by a quad bike". There is one locked gate on the north side of Craig Rossie next to a low wire fence. Ramblers believe there are other unmapped paths nearby that volunteers could add to the Scottish Paths Map.  

The National:

4. Kingussie hillside, Cairngorms 
This path is just outside Kingussie (above). It skirts the base of dense pinewoods and offers spectacular views to the Cairngorm plateau, with minimum effort. Walkers can "enjoy the sound of Woodpeckers in the trees, the sweet smell of the pine trees and colourful heather either side of the trail". The path starts at a short flight of steps on a street called West Terrace, where there is some limited parking available. Remember to shut all gates as horses are sometimes kept in fields along the route.

5. Woods at Corpach, West Highlands 
This short circular woodland walk is "a great example of how the Scottish Paths Map can help communities highlight the hidden gems on residents’ doorsteps". It leads from streets in Corpach village, a heartland of West Highlands industry. These well-used paths include a few steep climbs, passing through a mixed woodland on informal paths. For people looking to extend the walk, a stile at the north end of the loop connects to the open fields and rough hillside above.  

6. Shaw Wood in Paisley, Renfrewshire 
These little-known paths in south-east Paisley are perfect for residents in the many nearby housing estates to stretch their legs. Some sections are quite muddy underfoot in the field section and there are a few tight squeeze openings next to gates for visitors to negotiate. However, "intrepid walkers will be rewarded by unexpected peri-urban parkland among attractive trees and open clearings". 

7. Crookston Wood, Glasgow 
The site said it is "remarkable that that beautiful path in Pollok area of Glasgow has never before been mapped, either on print maps or online". There are three separate entrances to Crookston Wood that all link with a main circular loop, which features well-maintained paths and towering trees on a small urban hillside. 

8. Philipston Muir, West Lothian 
This woodland path is short but very useful, as it allows people enjoying the popular towpath next to the Union Canal at Philipston Muir to create quiet and varied loop walks. Nearby there is an interesting large bing, a hill created by the heaped tailings of former mining in the area. This path, which runs just to the east of the bing and near the Edinburgh-Glasgow rail line, has never been mapped before.