Stretching for 9 miles northwest of Castle Douglas between the A713 and A762, Loch Ken is a popular outdoor recreational area. The range of water sports includes windsurfing, sailing, canoeing, power-boating and kayaking. There are also walking trails and rich bird life. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has a nature reserve on the western bank, north of Glenlochar. The eastern shore is great for watching red kites.