Walk: Ben Vrackie & a leap of faith

[Ben Vrackie & Loch a' Choire]

A full-day's circuit taking in Ben Vrackie and Killiecrankie Gorge is surely one of Scotland's most varied hill walks. Starting in the centre of bustling Pitlochry, the return route winds along the beautiful River Garry (with wonderful colours in autumn), taking in the dramatic Pass of Killiecrankie. In 1689 this was the scene for a major battle during the first Jacobite rebellion: one soldier escaped by jumping across the gorge - the spot is now named The Soldier's Leap. Oh yes, and there's also the small matter of the hill itself, its majestic bulk speckled with scree, heather slopes and a small loch, with the summit visible even from the town beneath. This is a route that has it all... if you still need convincing, click on the link below to find out more about wonderful Pitlochry.

[Ben Vrackie from the outskirts of Pitlochry]

Name: Walk: Ben Vrackie & a leap of faith ★★☆
Length: 17 km / 11 miles
Ascent: 860 metres
Main summits: Ben Vrackie (841 metres, Corbett)
Points of interest: Pitlochry; Killiecrankie Gorge & Visitor Centre; Loch Faskally
Start / finish: A924 junction with Larchwood Road, Pitlochry, G.R.: NN 937583 / snake paths amplified

Route: Start - Larchwood Road - Golf Course Road - Lettoch - Moulin - leave forest at NN 942607 - Loch a' Choire - Ben Vrackie - return to Loch a' Choire - path around north side of Meall na h-Aodainn Mòire - Old Faskally House - Killiecrankie Gorge Visitor Centre & The Soldier's Leap - Faskally House & Loch Faskally via River Garry riverside path - Loch Dunmore - Clunie Bridge - start.
Terrain: Minor roads to start, then clear paths with some steep sections to Ben Vrackie. Wetter section on descent at Loch a' Choire, then track and minor road to Killiecrankie. Decent and fairly level paths for remainder.
Wildlife today: Sheep on ascent, deer on the hill and lots of birds in Killiecrankie Gorge. The forested sections are a good place to spot red squirrels.
Weather today: Sunny with light winds after an overnight dusting of snow on the hills. Below freezing to start and at the summit; a little warmer later. Slight valley fog in the morning and also a little wispy cloud on the summit.

>> see separate post for Pitlochry (not yet available)

[Pass of Killiecrankie]

Route credit: Scotland off the beaten track

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