Spittal of Glenshee via Forter to Kirkton of Glenisla
14.5 miles / 23.2 kilometres
Starting altitude - 1137 Ft / Highest point - 1447 Ft / End altitude - 824 Ft

This section of the Trail has seen significant change over the life of the walk and is now also subject to a further option being introduced. The website is only detailing the route as now adopted and waymarked, this being via Dalnaglar Castle, Forter castle and Loch Auchintaple. In the longer term we are intending to also detail the further routing via Loch Beanie and Loch Auchintaple but this may not be available till some time in 2009.
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.

Spittal of Glenshee Church Resume the walk at the Spittal of Glenshee Hotel and following the minor road north and then north east as it crosses the Shee Water. Then on the left are the attractive Kirk and a few houses before the trail reaches the A93 road junction. Cross to the east side and then picking up on a farm track that runs alongside the Shee Water on the opposite side of the river to the main road and traffic.

Glen Shee This part of the walk tends to follow the line of the dry stone dykes or fencing that divides the low land beside the Shee Water from the more hilly and rough land on the hillsides to the left.

This section of the walk seems to be more remote and removed from activity than the map would suggest. Only on the opposite bank of the river is the Blairgowrie to Braemar road but fortunately it makes very little impact on the walker. After a short while the track reaches Westerton of Runavey, which is the point where walkers have a choice. They can continue on the official waymarked route that follows the line of the Shee Water to Dalnaglar Castle or they can opt for the non- waymarked alternative that follows the general line of the Allt Mor Burn and head to Loch Beanie and then to Glen Beanie. To remain on the official route remain on this section of the website, to follow the alternative section click on Loch & Glen Beanie.

Dalnaglar Castle

Passing to the west of Creag na Bruaich (557 metres) the trail passes by the standing stone at Broughdearg and also the remains of an old limekiln. Following some further field and farm steadings the trail reaches a wooded section before arriving at the south east side of Dalnaglar Castle, this being a 19th century building used originally as a hunting lodge.

At the south east corner the trail meets the tarmac road that runs to the Castle from Cray. Use this road to climb slightly toward its junction with the B 951 Cray to Glenilsa road. This junction is where the Cateran Trail originally headed south via Cray, Blacklunans and Brewlands to Kirkton of Glenisla but now the official route turns east and onwards to Forter Castle. This much improved route has now a section of road walking as the trail walks below the north face of Mount Blair (744 metres) but the traffic is light, the countryside attractive and the distance to Forter castle is limited.

Forter Castle Forter Castle is a 16th century fortified house that was destroyed in the 17th century but carefully restored in the early 20th century. It is situated at a strategic point on Glenisla and connected to Glenshee by the Balloch Pass over which the trail has just travelled. Passing to the side of the Castle and into Little Forter the way crosses the River Isla before leaving the road and heading into hills and moorland on its way to Kirkton.

As the route crosses the River Isla at Little Forter the alternative Loch and Glen Beanie route rejoins.

View towards Glen Beanie

Leaving the valley the trail climbs steadily as it passes round the west and then north sides of the Knaps. The views are to the north and up to the head of Glen Isla then as the trail reaches its highest point on this section (441 metres) the views are to the Angus hills above Glen Prosen and Clova.

Auchintaple Loch From the high point the trail heads right and towards the forest edge above Loch Auchintaple. The walker will lose sight of the Loch until the forest path emerges from the trees on the south east corner. From this point and the next section towards Craighead there are great views off to the west where Mount Blair is dominant on the skyline. Between the trail and Mount Blair the Glen passes out of view. The track is followed in a south east direction and again ascending gradually, but about half the way from the corner of the loch to Craighead the trail leaves the track, heading due south over grassy moorland towards Loch Shandra.

View towards Loch Shandra

The descent to Loch Shandra is very instinctive and to help there are several Waymarking posts, but the track can be very narrow and unclear from a distance. The hill that separates the trail from Glenisla is Lindalla and this will be to the right of walkers as they reach the north west corner of Shandra.

Loch Shandra This is a man made loch, the weir being to the south end and from there water was fed down to the inhabitants of Glen Isla. Today the Loch is used extensively for fishing both from the banks and in boats. This Loch is also nicely located on the side of a large forest that has its recreational entrance at Freuchies. If trail walkers are staying overnight at the small community at Freuchies they may choose to walk along the edge of the weir to the south east corner of the loch then turn right along the forestry road directly into the community.

Kirkton of Glenisla

From Loch Shandra the trail continues in a southerly direction passing across a ribbon line of trees before the first sight of Kirkton can be seen below and on the right. Kirkton is a small community with its focal point being the Glenisla Hotel. But before you reach that point the trail passes to the south reaching the road at East Mill Farm. A quarter to half mile heading west on the road will bring the walker to the village and the end of this 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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