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Fortingall to Kinloch Rannoch

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  • Estate Road North
    / Estate Road North
    Photo: Iain Douglas, Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / Loch Rannoch
    Photo: Craig Dickson, Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / Schiehallon under cloud.
    Photo: Iain Douglas, Macs Adventure Ltd
m 800 600 400 200 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Macdonald Loch Rannoch Hotel Restaurant Schiehallion Loch Rannoch
On the most challenging section of Perthshire walking, skirt the shoulder of Schiehallion and enjoy Scottish wilderness in all its glory, finishing in the hidden treasure of Kinloch Rannoch. 
difficult
17.9 km
6:30 h
696 m
611 m
Get ready for a wonderful day of classic Scottish hillwalking through an empty corner of the highlands. You follow a rough track to Glenmore Bothy, with the iconic shape of Schiehallion looming ahead. A ruined highland village lies at its feet. Once you climb over the shoulder of Schiehallion it is all downhill to the Kinloch Rannoch. The path is indistinct and very rough/boggy in sections, but the scenery more than makes up for it.

Author’s recommendation

There is an alternative option to this walk if needed. You can take a taxi to Glen Lyon and complete a different walk from there to Kinloch Rannoch (taxis should be booked at least a day ahead of time if you prefer this option.)
Profile picture of Macs Adventure
Author
Macs Adventure
Updated: November 13, 2020
Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
706 m
Lowest point
125 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Rest Stop

Macdonald Loch Rannoch Hotel Restaurant

Safety information

One of the most challenging sections of your walk with wild Highland scenery and some sections of the rough or non-existent path. Be prepared for a challenging day and ensure that you are properly equipped.  

This is a superb higher-level route which passes under the slopes of one of the area’s most iconic mountains, Schiehallion. For much of the day the route follows good tracks, but the middle section is true Highland “stravaiging” – rough and trackless, but in the heart of magnificent wild highland scenery. This middle section only lasts for about a mile and a half.

As far as Glenmore Bothy (511 526 grid ref) this route is largely easy going on a clear track, but with much gradual ascent. The section from the bothy to the hut at Blar na Feadaig is very rough, trackless, and could be intimidating navigationally in poor visibility. The streams of Allt Creag a’ Mhadaih and Allt a’ Choire Glais can both become difficult or even impossible to cross after prolonged very wet weather, with the only safe option being a return to Fortingall. From the hut at Blar na Feadaig (698 545 grid ref) a clear well surfaced track leads all the way down to the road.

Be prepared with plenty of food and water, extra layers and a fully charged phone (plus back-up power bank.) Be sure to watch the weather and fog and low-lying cloud could make navigating across the shoulder of Schiehallion (at the height of approx 600 meters) difficult. 

 

Maps

You may wish to print the daily maps directly from our app. We also recommend the following maps to accompany the route notes:

OS 41 Ben Nevis, Fort William & Glencoe

OS 42 Glengarry and Loch Rannoch

OS 52 Pitlochry & Crieff

OS 53 Blairgowrie & Forest of Alyth

 

Macs Adventure Blogs

Using our decades of experience we have written several blogs containing helpful tips, daily wildlife information, lunch stops, where to eat, FAQ and more. Please follow the link below to read our Scottish insights:

https://www.macsadventure.com/walking-holidays/walk-of-the-week-scottish-coast-to-coast/    

https://www.macsadventure.com/walking-holidays/best-time-to-go-walking-in-scotland/    

https://www.macsadventure.com/walking-holidays/a-safari-less-travelled-scotland/   

https://www.macsadventure.com/walking-holidays/national-bird-of-scotland-the-golden-eagle/   

https://www.macsadventure.com/walking-holidays/scottish-scenery-best-views-scotland/    

 

 

Tips, hints and links

Points of Interest

Schiehallion

This iconic mountain has a rich botanical life, interesting folklore and archaeology, and a unique place in scientific history for an 18th-century experiment in 'weighing the world'. The name Schiehallion is an anglicised form of the Gaelic name “Sìdh Chailleann”, usually translated as 'Fairy Hill of the Caledonians' The 3547ft/1083m mountain is isolated from other peaks and has an almost perfect conical shape when viewed from the west. The view of the broad eastern flank from the shores of Loch Tummel attracts many visitors. Schiehallion is often described as the centre of Scotland. Its isolated position and regular shape led it to be selected for a ground-breaking experiment to estimate the mass of the Earth in 1774 by the Astronomer Royal, Neville Maskelyne. The deflection of a pendulum by the mass of the mountain provided an estimate of the mean density of the Earth, from which its mass could be deduced. In order to carry out this experiment, a graphical system to represent large volumes of surveyed heights was devised. This was to become the contour line system we see today on modern maps.

 

Glenmore

The remote glen under the southern slopes of Schiehallion is a wild and impressive place. Although uninhabited today, there are many groups of shielings (summer camp shelters) which along with a network of later buildings, the bothies, hint at a much more populated past. Near to the shielings at the head of the glen, at Tom-a-Mhorair just past Glenmore Bothy, there is a cave which is reputed to be an entrance to a city of the Fairy Kingdom, and legends of encounters with the fairy folk abound in this area, under the slopes of Schiehallion “The Fairy Hill of all Scotland”.

 

Loch Rannoch

The loch is over 9 miles (14km) long with an average width of about 1,090 yards (1,000 m). The River Tummel begins at its eastern end. The wild Rannoch Moor extends to the west of the loch and used to be part of the Caledonian Forest that stretched across much of Northern Scotland. This is proven in part by the presence of Scots Pine stumps preserved in the boggy areas of the moor, and pollen records from peat cores. The loch offers good sport fishing. The small village of Kinloch Rannoch lies at the eastern end of the loch, and a crannog (an ancient artificial island) with a folly on it can be found near its western end.

 

Food and Drink

None on route. Fortingall Hotel, shop and hotel in Kinloch Rannoch. In good conditions, the views are superb all along this walk, but good picnic spots can be found by the Glenmore Bothy, the hut at Blar na Feadaig, or by the shielings of Tom a’ Mhor Fhir at side of the Allt Creag a’ Mhadaidh.

 

Start

Fortingall (124 m)
Coordinates:
DD
56.597880, -4.050727
DMS
56°35'52.4"N 4°03'02.6"W
UTM
30V 435485 6273119
w3w 
///launched.tensions.removable

Destination

Kinloch Rannoch

Turn-by-turn directions

*** To help you follow the route with confidence we have provided full written turn by turns to aid you on your walk from Fortingall to Kinloch Rannoch. We strongly suggest that you follow the GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone app to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and problem-free day. The daily maps can also be printed from the web version of the app should you wish to take paper copies with you. ***

 

0.00km - START at the Fortingall Hotel. Continue Along the road towards the village hall.

0.30km - TURN RIGHT into the village hall car park. CONTINUE through a gate at the end of a car park then pass around the back of some tennis courts.

0.40km - Follow a small stream to ascend a very steep rough grassy bank for a few yards.

0.50km - TURN RIGHT on a clear track that winds up the hillside.

8.20km - TURN RIGHT leave the main track to descend to Glenmore Bothy, which is about 100 yards away on the right and tucked into a fold in the hillside. The bothy is very rough and basic but would provide shelter in poor conditions, and a pleasant grassy picnic spot in fine weather.

8.30km - RETURN to Main Track and CONTINUE. The track becomes boggier and less distinct.

8.90km - Cross the stream in wet conditions it may be necessary to turn upstream (left) for about ¾ mile in order to cross the Allt Creag a’ Mhadaidh safely. In periods of prolonged very wet weather it may become completely impassable. If in doubt, retrace your steps to Fortingall. TURN RIGHT to follow the bank of the stream, across trackless heathery terrain.

9.20km - Cross the stream and head uphill in the same line (in good visibility the summit of Schiehallion makes a useful marker). The ground is rough and heathery but taking this line avoids the thickest of the heather, threading grassy tongues and deer tracks along the shoulder of Schiehallion to the hut at Blar na Feadaig.

(9.20km - 11.00km) The alternative in poor visibility it may be safer to stay close to the line of the Allt a’ Coire Glais, although the ground here can be very boggy and the terrain is rough. Continue alongside the stream for about a mile, and at a point near some shielings (remains of old summer grazing camps) around grid ref. 696 544, head directly up the slope to find a small valley feature, in which the Blar na Feadaig hut is found at G.R. 698 545

9.30km - BEAR LEFT head up the slope by connecting faint deer tracks in the heather, moving gradually upstream and taking a line about 50m (150ft) above the stream.

10.10km - CONTINUE on the faint deer path which contours the hillside about 65m (200ft) above the steam. This follows the line of the 600m contour on the map.

11.00km - join a track by a well-hidden shepherd’s hut in a small stream valley. The hut is in a delightful location and offers shelter in poor conditions but is very basic. CONTINUE along the track, which gradually heads downhill.

14.50km - TURN LEFT onto the road by East Tempar Farm.

16.80km - TURN RIGHT at a road junction, heading for Kinloch Rannoch.

17.60km - STRAIGHT ON at a road junction. CONTINUE along the road and cross the bridge over the River Tummel.

17.90km - FINISH at the Dunalistair Hotel which is situated at the far end of the bridge.

 

*** This is the end of our Fortingall to Kinloch Rannoch route, use your included documentation to find your overnight accommodation. ***

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

DD
56.597880, -4.050727
DMS
56°35'52.4"N 4°03'02.6"W
UTM
30V 435485 6273119
w3w 
///launched.tensions.removable
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

Such is the way of British hiking, that you need to be prepared for all seasons and weathers; sturdy hiking boots, warm clothes and a waterproof/wind-break layer are all required, as is plenty of sun-cream and a healthy respect for the sun.

Walking poles will be a big advantage on some of these ascents and descents.

Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.

This walk is isolated with limited opportunities to buy food or water, so be sure to bring enough with you.


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Difficulty
difficult
Distance
17.9 km
Duration
6:30h
Ascent
696 m
Descent
611 m

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