Walking

Adventure Awaits

 

In the heart of the Highlands, walking and hiking is the perfect way to take in the spectacular scenery that this area has to offer. We’ve put together a guide to some of our favourite walks in the area, from leisurely strolls to mountain scrambles, there’s something for all abilities.

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Loch Tay West Shore From Killin

Difficulty: Easy

Distance:  2 ½miles

Parking: Killin McLaren Hall

Time:  1-1½ hours

Level /grassland

In very wet weather parts of this walk will be impassable.

At the north end of the village, turn right at the Church of St. Fillan (the corrugated iron building), and walk up to the car park. Access the old railway line   across the car park. Turn left and cross the old railway bridge over the River Lochay.

Continue along the track until you reach the gate, which leads to the loch. Go through the gate and follow the path along the River Lochay and loch tay west shore with its small sandy beaches .

This brings you to the pier road where you turn left to pass Finlarig castle on the right (among the trees) and continue to cross the river at the caravan site. Turn left to return to Killin.

Glenlochay and Moirlanich Longhouse

Difficulty: Easy

Distance:  5miles

Parking: Killin McLaren Hall

Time:  1-1½ hours

Level /tarmac road (OCCASIONAL TRAFFIC)

 

Head north through Killin (past the Bowling Green) and take the first road left after the caravan parkl.

Walk up Glen Lochay, past Moirlanich longhouse (open to the public limited hours) until you cross the River Lochay at the Power Station. The fish lift at the power station is worth a look!

Turn right at T junction at the top of the slope and head back down the other side of the glen. On reaching the Bridge of Lochay, turn right over the bridge and back to the village.

Killin Branch Line Junction/ Glenogle

Difficulty: Medium

Distance: 10 Miles

Gentle Ascents/Descents. Forest Track

 

On the road west from Killin go over the bridge at the Dochart Falls, continue west then up the track between the two bungalows at the war memorial and turn right on the old railway line. Follow this until you reach the spot where the tracks cross and this time go straight ahead. Continue along the old track here through the deer fence and you eventually come to the A85 which you cross. Stay on the track until you reach the old railway platform at Killin Branch junction.

Turn left now and follow the old line up to the cottages at the top of Glenogle. Cross the main road here, turn left and through the gate in the deer fence whence you can now follow the track all the way back to Killin.

Watch out for bikes – this is a cycle way.

 

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Sron a Chlachain (Gaelic= Nose of the village)

Difficulty: Medium

Distance: 1 Mile

Start: McLaren Hall car park

Very Steep Track – requires Boots or Strong Shoes (some wet bits)

At the rear of the McLaren hall car park, walk over Breadalbane Park and onto the hill via the gate in the south west corner. A track leads straight up the hill through the bracken to a stile at the edge of the oak wood. Cross the stile and continue uphill on the obvious track, which veers slowly left towards the summit.

This one can be a bit of a scrabble and near the top is wet in places but the views along Loch Tay and towards Ben More and Stobinian to the West are a well deserved reward.

Don’t be tempted to descend by the north slope as there are unseen hazards unless you know the way.

 

Acharn Woods

Difficulty: Medium

Distance: 5 Miles

Easy up, steep down – Forest Tracks

From the West car park near the bridge at the falls, cross the Dochart Bridge and then head west along the main road. Opposite the war memorial, walk up the track between the two bungalows, through the big gate and right on to the old railway line.

Follow this until you reach the point where a number a tracks cross.. Turn left and the route rises steadily, before falling away steeply and back to the big gate where the walk  started. During this walk, you will encounter open views to the west up Glen Dochart and eastwards along Loch Tay and it’s enclosing mountains.

 

Acharn Woods and Glen Ogle

Difficulty: Medium

Distance: 8 Miles

Steady Climbs/Steep Descents – Forest Tracks

This is part of the C7 Cycleway

From the West car park near the bridge at the falls, cross the Dochart Bridge and then head west along the main road. Opposite the war memorial, walk up the track between the two bungalows, through the big gate and right on to the old railway line.

Follow the old railway track to a point where a fence crosses the track – turn left here and follow the track up the hill. This track rises towards Glen Ogle. Just before a gate, turn left and head in an easterly direction, skirting the lower slopes of Ben Leabhain. The views to east and west here are magnificent, and if you come here at sunset with some clouds high in the sky, it’s a sight you won’t forget.

Continue until you reach a ‘T’ junction in the track where you turn left and downhill. The route follows the Achmore burn down to the south LochTay road where you turn left to return to the Dochart Bridge.

 

 

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Auchlyne and Killin Branch Line Junction

Difficulty: Medium

Distance: 11 Miles

Fairly Level, Quite Road and Forest Tracks

Note: A visitor has informed me that a fence with some barbed wire now crosses the walk near Killin junction, but that it can be safely crossed with a little care. This may be a temporary fence erected to prevent sheep straying during lambing time. 
The ‘Right to Roam’ legislation makes any total obstruction of a pathway illegal .

 

Meall Corranaich and Meall a Choire Liath Meall Corranaich

Difficulty: Strenuous

Distance: 10 Miles (6-7 Hours)

Height: 3525ft and 3055ft

Start: Ben Lawers Reserve car park

This straightforward linear walk lets you add a couple of Munros to your list the easy way – the car park is at 1400ft!

If walking this route in Winter, beware the cornice on the East side of the ridge

Escape: to the East is inadviseable but the slopes to the West are generally gentle and provide a simple descent to the hill road near Lochan na Lairige.

The 2 mile walk in to the ‘bottom’ of Corranaich from the car park is fairly easy and takes you to a height of about 2800ft. There is a short steep section to Meall Corranaich summit followed by a ridge walk dropping to a col at about 2700 ft before rising to Meall a Choire Liath at 3055 ft.

From the car park follow the duckboarded path north over the soft ground and through the deer fence gate to access the hill track. The track follows easily up the banks of the Edramucky burn before crossing to continue on the east bank. After passing through a second deer fence a large rock marks a fork in the path. The left fork heads at an easier slope NNE whilst the right track heads off up Ben Ghlass. Take the left fork.

About 1 mile further on this track brings you to a bealach at the foot of a rocky promentory marking the foot of the east shoulder of Meall Corranaich. You’ll find a faint track leading over toward the shoulder – it leads up through the lower craggy outcrop and then directly on to the summit of Corranaich.

From here on you get some of the best available views of the Lawers range – Bein Ghlas on the right, then Lawers, Craig na Fhithich, An Stuc, Meall Garbh and in the distance Meall Greigh.

From the summit of Corranaich head slightly east of north then north to follow the ridge down to to head of Corrie Gorm where you must take the broad descending ridge to the right – not very obvious and it’s easy to take the rising ridge to the left by mistake.

This broad ridge eventually narrows and the track turns NW to follow a burn down to a col at about 2500 ft before rising to the summit of Meall a Choire Liath.

To the South West is an unusual view of the Tarmachan ridge – more commonly seen from the south at Killin.

By walking a little further north past the summit cairn some good views can be seen of Glen Lyon with Loch Lyon just visible over the tops away in the distance to the west and Loch Na Daimh about six miles away to the WNW.

Return by the same route over the top of Corranaich for safety. There are one or two points where it is possible to descend to Roro Glen to the east to avoid climbing back over Corranaich but the risk in most places is not worth the effort.

 

Ben Lawers Walk

Difficulty: Strenuous

Distance: 6 Miles (3-5 Hours)

Height: 3981 ft

Start: The Lawers Nature Reserve car park

 

Warning : Although a relatively simple though strenuous walk in good weather, this becomes difficult and hazardous in winter conditions with icy surfaces and severe drifting in gale force winds. Time for trip may be doubled! In poor visibility any approach other than from the car park can be hard to navigate.

Ben Lawers is a great climb and you get a head start from the carpark at 1400 ft.

From Killin head to towards the North of Loch Tay road. 3 or 4 miles east of Killin turn left onto the Ben Lawers road and up to the nature reserve car park.

Throughout this walk you may see rare Alpine flowers in season. They are protected species and must not be damaged. The walk is carpeted with ‘Alpine Lady’s Mantle’ and scented ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ made famous by the song.

From the Ben Lawers car park walk up the duck-boarded path over the wet ground in a northerly direction towards the mountain. Once off the duckboards, follow the Edramucky burn Northwards up the gully for about half a mile until the track turns suddenly east (sign posted to Ben Lawers) and crosses the burn. Follow the track with the burn now on your left, through the game gate then ascend the shoulder and on up to the top of Bein Ghlas.

Excellent views here to Ben Lawers with an Stuc and Meal Garbh hiding behind.

Continue north eastwards from Bein Ghlas and descend the ridge to the col at the foot of the final ascent to Ben Lawers. In poor visibility keep away from the steep cliffs to your right. The climb becomes steep and rocky, more scrambling than walking where eroded, for 600 feet to the Lawers summit. Beware steep slopes to the West at the top – it’s a long slide down and a longer climb back up!

Views here over vast stretches of Scotland cannot fail to impress!

From the summit on a clear day you may see the east coast at the Firth of Tay as well as the Firth of Clyde far off to the South-West. Ben More with it’s ridge to Stobinion are obvious to the west. Lochan nan Chat may be seen below below Meal Garbh and An Stuc to the north east of the summit. The Tarmachan range lies to the west and Glen Lyon to the North.

Take a short walk along the ridge to the south east (toward loch Tay) to see a fantastic lunar landscape with a ‘crater’containing the remains of a Victorian mapping expedition base. The remains are in the form of some dry stone building ruins sheltered by the craggy sides of the ‘crater’. Mind your footing here as there are opportunities to damage yourself by falling into the ‘crater’. The crater often harbours snow well into summer.

Retrace your steps to the summit then back down to the col and look for the track leading down to the north as you come off the steep descent. Follow this track to the right (often treacherously icy with frozen meltwater in winter) downthe north side of Beinn Ghlas then into the bealach to follow the burn southwards and re-join the ascent track near the game gate.

Escape: The last track to the North side from the beallach between Lawers and Bein Ghlas can provide a valuable escape route to lower levels if on the ascent the weather deteriorates unexpectedly. Descend to the car park by the track.

 

An Stuc and Lawers Ridge Circular from Lawers Village

Difficulty: Strenuous

Distance: 10.5 Miles (7-9 Hours)

Height: 3982ft – Total Ascent 4650 ft

Start: Lawers Village (GR NN680395)

An Stuc east side is a serious scramble difficult if greasy and with no by-pass in winter conditions. Easier to climb than descend. If in doubt do not tackle, especially in Winter.

Park in or near Lawers village. If you use the carpark opposite the Horn Carver’s shop you must pay at the shop. The Lawers Hotel are usually helpful in allowing use of their car park – but have a pint there when you come back!

Walk up the farm road beside the Horn Carver shop and follow the sign for the hill where the farm road turns right. Follow the track up the hill beside the burn and notice the old shielings after the second stile. 200 years ago the farming families moved up here with the animals in the spring. The track drops down into the exceptionally deep gorge of the Lawers burn where you cross a footbridge then follow an ill defined track up the opposite bank to follow the west bankof the gorge.

Eventually you join a wide track leading to the small catchment dam (GR-NN662427). Cross the burn here and follow the smaller burn up the hill. Unless you intend to add Meall Greigh to the east, stay on the left bank and head for the lowest point on the horizon (GR – NN657438).

Turn left here and follow the rising ridge to the summit of Meall Garbh – don’t be fooled by the spur leading off to the left near the summit. There are 2 ‘summits’ – take your pick – you climb both in any case. From Meall Garbh second summit, pick your way down a crumbly rocky path to the bealach to find yourself facing the ascent of An-Stuc (the peak or pinnacle). If in doubt about this ascent, it may be by passed to the right, but this is often blocked by a huge cornice until early summer. Another option is to scramble down to Lochan nan Chat then up to the beallach East of Creag na Fhithich – a long climb!

The direct path winds up through the lower rocks to the left before the climb becomes ‘tricky’ for the last hundred feet or. This last part can be difficult – even dangerous when greasy or icy. Continue now to the cairn on An Stuc summit.

Descend the steep crumbly track to the bealach then continue to Creag na Fhithich, keeping to the right of the sheer face which is not recommended. A small scramble near the top and you have a clear view to Ben Lawers north ridge leading away from Creag na Fhithich.

Pick your way over the mossy/rocky top of Creag na Fhithich and make a point of going over to the left for the view down into the corrie with the oddly cat shaped Lochan Nan Chat. The north ridge of Lawers now faces you, looking like a long drag, but in fact only a little over 500ft to the top. Ascend the obvious track up the ridge to the craggy summit of Ben Lawers with its two trig points.

Looking west from here you see the magnificent view to Beinn Glass with the Tarmachan ridge stretching away toward Creag na Caillach and Killin with Ben More and Stobinian beyond.

From the summit trig point look south toward Loch Tay to find the track leading to the east ridge. Head south on the barely visible track to the broken rocks (about 140 metres) where you may see among the rocks the remains of the base of a Victorian mapping expedition. Veering Eastward now the very sharp east ridge leads down, with views to Lochan.

Nan Chat on the left, to a broad shoulder with no vestige of a track visible. Just keep heading East until you find a convenient way down to the left to join the Lawers burn somewhere below Lochan nan Chat.

A track now follows the south bank of the burn to the dam you passed on the way up. Head back down the wide track being careful not to miss the turn off to the left leading back down the burn to the welcome relief of the car at Lawers.

This route may be extended if you have two cars – leave one at the Lawers centre carpark and one at Lawers village. When you reach the summit of Ben Lawers, continue to Beinn Ghlass then down the shoulder to the car you left at the Lawers centre car park.

A Reminder: This route is very difficult, possibly dangerous in Winter conditions. Even in Summer the east side of An Stuc requires a head for heights and some scrambling skills.

 

Tarmachan Ridge Walk

Difficulty: Strenuous

Distance: 8 Miles (options exist) (4-6 Hours)

Height: 3440 ft

Start: The Lawers Nature Reserve car park (3 Miles East of Killin)

Always a strenuous walk, even in good weather, this becomes hazardous in winter conditions with icy surfaces and severe drifting in gale force winds. The final ascent to Tarmachan summit will often require crampons and ice axe after heavy snow.

Escape: At a dip just east of Meal Garbh a safe descent can be made down the south sloping shoulder leading to the water authority track. Care is still required at some craggy areas.

From the Lawers car park, exit to the road, turning right for about 400 yds then left onto a rough land rover track. Pass threough a gate and take a path to the right after about 300 yds. This path leads up to a gate in the deer fence then  follows the ridge northwest to a small un-named summit. Continue past this summit decending to a stile over the deer fence in the bealach.

Continue over the bealach and start climbing up a steep gully (often filled with snow and icy in winter) leading to a short walk north east to the summit of Tarmachan. From here on, care is required as the path is often narrow with short grassy slopes dropping off into steep cliffs, especially to the South and East.

At the summit, walk south about 100 yds before turning south west to follow a well defined path leading to the summit of Meal Garbh. The track becomes narrow now and a little airy with steep drops to both sides. After a short while the path drops via a series of zigzags to a sudden tricky descent to a bealach. Some scrambling skill is useful here and a slip could be serious. (the tricky bit can be by-passed by a steep faint track to the right as you face the bealach).

Cross the bealach and continue in a westerly direction over some lumpy ground before reaching the round top of Bein nan Eachan. Over the top now and descending about 1500ft to yet another bealach from which the climb is southwest to several possible summits of Craig na Callich.

Two descent options possible now:
1. Continue past an exposed traverse above an big drop and southwards about half a mile before heading southwest to avoid more cliffs. Once on leveler ground turn east to find the land rover track which leads back to the start.
2. Turn back and descent to the bealach then right at the lowest point to descend by very wet ground generally heading southeast to find the land rover track. BEWARE the old quarry – fenced off but still a potential hazard.

Continue on the LR track to the starting point.

 

Kirkton Glen (Balquhidder)

Difficulty: Strenuous

Distance: 6 Mile loop or 7 Mile linear (2 Hour short, 4 Hour long)

Height: 1700ft Max

The Kirkton Glen offers two options, The shorter round trip, and the longer one way trip which requires you to arrange transport back to Balquhidder from Glendochart.

Both walks start at the back of the church at Balquhidder and are quite well signposted. The narrow track through the trees approaches a waterfall but signs for the footpath point to the right. Follow these signs to a stile and continue up the track which climbs past a large green metal hut and then steeply through the trees.
After a short time you come to a kind of crossroads where a number of tracks meet.

Take the path which leads straight on up the Kirkton Glen, with a burn on your left.
The wide gravel track enters some trees then shortly afterwards re-emerges.
Three tracks meet shortly after the felled woods, the centre narrow footpath being signposted to Glen Dochart.
Take the centre track, crossing a fence and onto the open hillside. the track now veers slightly left before turning east then north.
Meall an Fhiodhain is now up to your right and Lochan an Eireannaich below you to the left.
At this point you have the choice of returning to Balquhidder by retracing your steps to the three way junction at which point all three tracks lead ultimately to Balquhidder or continuing over to Glen Dochart.

Remember if you continue to Glendochart that you will need transport back to Balquhidder unless you have the desire for a much extended 18 mile walk returning from Glen Dochart by way of the old railway track and Glenogle to Lochearnhead.

To continue to Glen Dochart, continue along the track which now descends, watching on the right for the remains of some 19th c. sheilings beside the Ledcharrie burn. Crossing the burn after the sheilings, the track now descends beside the burn with a couple of steep sections before crossing the old highland railway track bed.

If you are walking back by GlenOgle, turn right onto the old trackbed here. Otherwise continue over the track and descend to Ledcharrie farm, past the farm and onto the A85 road to Crianlarich. Hope now that your transport has arrived!