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Pitlochry Walks

Pitlochry Waymarked Walks: A network of nearly 41 miles/66km of waymarked paths and tracks extends over an area of 18 square miles of countryside surrounding the small, historic settlements of Pitlochry, Moulin and Killiecrankie. Six different walks radiate out into a natural amphitheatre of forested hills on both sides of the River Garry and Tummel. Combinations of these walks can be linked to offer a wide choice of scenery, distance and destination. All routes in the network are described and mapped within a comprehensive colour leaflet available from Pitlochry Tourist Information Centre.

Ben Vrackie Walk. This well known and much loved hill forms a scenic backdrop to the bustling resort town of Pitlochry. The name translates as `speckled mountain` and comes from a time when white quartz rocks were scattered across its slopes. On a good clear day the view from the summit takes in the Beinn a’Ghlo range to the north and Strathtay and Strathtummel to the west. It is possible to start the walk in the town centre, however the usual start point is the small car park at the village of Moulin. Thanks to the work of Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust, a good path leads out of the car park and up the side of the Moulin Burn, before striking out across heather moorland. The final part of the walk is a short, steep climb to the summit. Refreshments in Moulin or Pitlochry.

Craigower Hill. This small wooded crag lies behind the town of Pitlochry and is cared for by the National Trust for Scotland. The walk to the summit is worthwhile for the distant views across rugged Highland Perthshire scenery. Pitlochry town centre is the usual start point where parking, shops and cafes are to be found. An ascent of Larchwood Road leads past The Cuilc, an attractive duck pond, to Golf Course Road and then onto the line of the old North Road. For more than 1000 years this ancient highway provided the main means of communication between north and south and many important historical figures journeyed along it, including King Robert the Bruce in 1306. The walk to the hill top crosses Pitlochry Golf Course before the final ascent though pleasant mixed woodland.

Pass of Killiecrankie Walk. At one time the Pass of Killiecrankie was notorious amongst travellers as one of the most arduous and dangerous routes in Scotland. Today this impressive wooded gorge is one of Perthshire’s best loved beauty spots and a popular location for walkers and naturalists. There are a number of easily accessible trails by the River Garry through fine oak and deciduous woodland, rich in wildlife. The through route from Pitlochry to Killiecrankie passes close to Loch Faskally and the river bank and is one of the best low level walks in the area. It can be tackled as a simple linear route (3 miles/5km) before catching the bus back. A longer, picturesque circuit is also possible and takes in the beautiful Linn of Tummel with its natural salmon leap. All route options are fully illustrated in the Walks leaflet. The Killiecrankie Visitor Centre (NTS) is located above the gorge and features information on the outstanding beauty of the area and the bloody Jacobite battle fought here in 1689. The centre is open from Easter to October. Gorge and walking trails are accessible all year. Refreshments in Killiecrankie or Pitlochry.

Faskally Forest Walk. This lovely old forest lies on the shores of Loch Faskally, 1 mile/1.5 km north of Pitlochry (car park is sign posted off B8019). Many of the trees are between 100 and 200 years old and a wide mix of different species can be enjoyed on the well sign posted paths that meander through the woods. Within Faskally Forest, and close to the car park and picnic site, lies the wonderfully tranquil Loch Dunmore, with its boat house and picturesque timber footbridge. The circular walk around the loch shore takes around half an hour and much of the route is accessible for wheelchair users and pushchairs. Parking and toilet facilities for the disabled are available within the forest close to the start of the route. The Forester’s Route follows in the footsteps of a generation of foresters and takes the walker around Dunmore Hill, through a fantastic variety of trees. Routes through Faskally Forest can be linked with longer walks which form part of the Pitlochry Walks Network.

Allean Forest. Part of the Tay Forest Park, Allean Forest lies on the hillside near Queen’s View Visitor Centre, high above the shores of Loch Tummel. The waymarked walks through the woods have been established by the Forestry Commission and combine varied terrain and tree species with interesting archaeological remains. When the forest was being planted, an eighteenth century farmstead was discovered. It is now partly restored and features on the 2 mile/3km Clachan Walk. To the east are the well preserved remains of an eighth century `ring fort` in a commanding position overlooking Loch Tummel. This fascinating site gives its name to The Ring Fort Walk (2.5 miles/4km) which has the added benefit of superb panoramic views. Wildcats and badgers are known to live in these woods but a sighting is largely a matter of luck. More easily seen are red squirrels and the elegant roe deer. The entrance to Allean Forest is signposted and located to the west of the Queen's View Visitor Centre off the B8019. Refreshments and shop at Queen’s View Visitor Centre.

Beinn a’ Ghlo Massif. “One of the most beautiful and mysterious hills of Scotland”according to ecologist Adam Watson. The Beinn a Ghlo massif rises up out of the bare moorland north-east of Blair Atholl and is made up of four distinct summits – Cairn Liath, Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain, Airgiod Bheinn and Carn nan Gabhar – which together form one of the biggest and most complex mountains in Perthshire. For experienced hill goers with navigation skills, this area offers excellent remote walking. Blair Atholl is the most convenient start point – from Bridge of Tilt a minor road leads eastwards to Loch Moraig where an unofficial car park is available (no cars beyond this point). From the loch proceed on foot along a private farm road to Shinagag and then on through the glen before striking upwards on the steep heathery slopes of Carn Liath. According to an old sporting legend, Beinn a’Ghlo has no less than nineteen corries, in any one of which a rifle can be fired without being heard in any other. Between 12th August and 20th October grouse shooting or deer stalking may be taking place in this area. Walkers are advised to check with Pitlochry TIC or Monzie Estate.

Glen Banvie Trail. Following a circular waymarked route around Glen Banvie Wood and along the edge of the Banvie Burn this walk offers varied scenery and much natural and historical interest. Begin at the village of Old Blair, just north of Blair Atholl – car parking is available at the Glen Tilt car park, near old Bridge of Tilt at GR 875664. The first part of the route is the territory of the roe deer, climbing higher, closer to the moorland, the walker enters the domain of the red deer, with winter and spring being the best times to catch a glimpse of this majestic species. As the walk progresses, views south to the dramatic Pass of Killiecrankie and distant peak of Ben Vrackie fill the scene. There is also an option to make a detour to the Falls of Bruar, a breathtaking woodland gorge walk with a series of spectacular waterfalls. Blair Castle, the ancient seat of the Earls and Dukes of Atholl, is located close to this walk. Open daily April to October, plus Tuesdays and Saturdays in winter. Refreshments at Blair Castle or in Blair Atholl village.

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