As recently as the 1970s local maps were crisscrossed by dotted lines. These were paths and byways which stretched back to medieval times and perhaps even further to man’s first journeys in Carrick.
With the advent of wheeled transport roads began to replace these historic tracks.
But they are still important to those of us who use our legs to get around - and it is one of the aims of the Carrick Way to re-establish our walking heritage in the area.
Already around 50 miles of the northern loop which links Maybole with Girvan and Barr (and Dailly, Straiton, Maidens, Dunure and Kirkoswald) is along the direct line of tracks taken by seventeenth century travellers.
Modern land management, including forestry use, has forced the occasional change of line but not as many as were expected.
This suggests that the ‘old ways’ were the most practical and time saving links for pedestrian and pack-pony - and, as a few have continuously been walked, of interest and value to the modern walker.
It’s easy to think of ‘heritage’ in terms of castles and kirks but there is a cause to be pleaded for our ancient tracks which were walked by our ancestors – without the benefit of a Goretex jacket or the proverbial ‘stout walking boots’.
The Carrick Way builders have adopted the cause and in the coming years will endeavour to re-establish more of the disappearing dotted lines in the Carrick area.
This is the first in a regular series of articles about the Carrick Way which will keep you up to date with its progress – and perhaps encourage you to walk the Way in the steps of our forefathers.