|Kirkmichael via Enochdhu to Spittal of Glenshee
8.5 miles / 13.6 kilometres
Starting altitude - 719 Ft / Highest point - 2144 Ft / End altitude - 1137 Ft
This section also rewards the walker with perhaps the best views on the entire route with panoramic views from Alt Lairig. To the west the views are to Ben Vrackie and to the several Munros to the north east of Blair Atholl, to the north east the skiing hills of Glenshee (The Cairnwell) and to the east and south east the valley of Glenshee and the hills of the Angus Glens behind.
Do, however, make sure that when undertaking this section you are adequately prepared for the possibility of very different weather conditions on the high points to that at the start in Strathardle. At over 2000 feet the wind can be much stronger and the temperature feel consequently that much less, so go prepared.
To get a description of the views on the following pages simply place the mouse over the picture and a description will be shown briefly on top of the image.
Resume the walk close to the Kirkmichael Primary School and head north west on the western side of the Ardle River. This initial 2 miles is very easy going along almost level tracks set back from the River bank. The countryside is very pleasant with immediate hills of a relatively low height but to the north east there are clear indications that the geology of the area is going to start to change.
Enochdhu is the next small village that the trail comes to and this is reached by a small pedestrian only bridge over the Ardle. The community is smaller then Kirkmichael but is on the same road that goes from Bridge of Cally to Pitlochry. Cross the road and quickly turn right onto a road and track that ascends to Dirnanean and then onto the Calamanach Wood. Dirnanean is at certain time of the year open to the public and if time permits there are gardens that have been re-developed and are worth seeing. There is also a burn walk that gives fine access to views of the Allt Doire nan Eun (Rough Water of the Birds).
On the way to Dirmanean pause for a moment to take in the countryside that is off to the left. This view is to the west
and looking in the direction of Killiecrankie and Blair Atholl. The closer views are of the A 924 road from Bridge of
Cally to Pitlochry as it curves left towards Straloch and Tarvie. In the background is another view of Ben Vrackie which
is the highest, standing at 841 metres.
After the Calamanach Wood the Trail starts a steady climb north and then north east as it heads for An Lairag. On the way three high hilltops are to be seen, Ben Earb (Mountain of the Roe-deer) Craig an Dubh Shluic (Crag of the Deep Black Hollow) and on the right Meall Uaine (The Green Hill). As they start to become closer there is an unexpected wooden hut located off to the left close to the track. This is known as the Upper Lunch hut and has a royal connection to Queen Victoria dating back to 1865.
After the Upper Lunch hut the track shortly splits and the Trail takes to the right heading between Dubh Shluic and Meall Uaine / Uchd nan Carn (Hillside of the Cairns).
After reaching the top at An Lairig time should be taken to enjoy the panoramic view before setting off down the Coire Lairige
(Corrie of the Pass) towards the Spittal of Glenshee. The Corrie is a more steep sided descent compared to the more gradual
ascent of the previous section and although there are no difficulties it is worth being careful with the footing, especially if it is wet under foot. After two stiles this section of the trail reaches its end directly beside the Spittal of Glenshee Hotel.
Adjacent, there is another display board relating to the Cateran Trail and this one as much as any tells the reasoning why this is such an appropriate name for the walk.
The Battle of Glenshee (1606) relates to one of the largest fights between the Caterans and the local Clansmen. The Caterans had stolen a large number of cattle from around Strathardle, Glen Shee and Glen Isla and were then confronted by local clansmen. The Caterans were defeated and it is believed that as a result this was the last significant theft of cattle in the area. For more on this topic link to the Interest Section.
|Blairgowrie to Kirkmichael via Bridge of Cally | Kirkmichael to Spittal of Glenshee | Spittal to Kirkton of Glenisla | Spittal to Kirkton of Glenisla via Loch Beanie | Kirkton to Alyth | Alyth to Blairgowrie via Bridge of Cally | Alyth to Blairgowrie via Drimmie Woods|
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