New link path through to core path 177
This recently opened path starts from New Galloway Golf Course car park or from the layby a few hundred yards south. It follows an existing path through the Golf Course woods. Exit the wood through a new gate and follow the sign left.
At a fork in the path bear right and continue descending until you see a signpost pointing right to a steep descent with mature pine trees on the left. At the bottom, cross the wide track diagonally and continue to descend through young trees until you reach the new Kirsten Bridge crossing over the Knocknairling Burn.
Follow the direction across the field as signed and look ahead for the next signpost directing you up into a wooded area. Take a rest on the wooden bench and contemplate life on the small loch, once a water supply to the nearby castle ruins.
As you proceed look carefully for a signpost on your right directing you into old pine trees. This section winds around a bit, but is signposted at intervals and exits across a boardwalk to the rough vehicle track leading up to Knocknairling House. The signpost directs you left to join Core Path 177 into the Galloway Forest Park at some cottages further down the track where another signpost directs you right.
If you are returning to New Galloway and wish to extend your walk to 4.2 miles, turn right up the track towards Knocknairling House and enter the third farm gate on your left. This track leads upward with a fishing lochan on the right and exits through another farm gate on to a forestry logging road. Follow this track left and keep left until you join the Knocknairling track by the cottages mentioned earlier. A right turn leads to the A762 road and a left turn takes you back to the point where you first joined the Knocknairling track and you can retrace the Link Path back to New Galloway.