Rest StopMacdonald Loch Rannoch Hotel Restaurant
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.
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:
Tips, hints and links
Points of Interest
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.
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”.
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.
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.