Living in Scotland we feel extremely lucky to have so many options for walks and days out, without even leaving big tree country. With flat trails around lochs, plenty of small hills with cracking views and for the more able/adventurous there are twenty-eight Munros right here in the county too. We have plenty of favourite, ‘go to’ walks but it is always pleasing to find something new, even better when it’s been on a list and you didn’t actually realise it was so close to home! The Pine Cone Point walk in Perthshire is a recent discovery for us and so we were looking forward to exploring new trails.
Pine Cone Point in Perthshire
I was actually really surprised to learn that this walk starts off in the National Trust for Scotland car park of the Hermitage near Dunkeld on the A9. Why? Because we must have visited this place hundreds of times since moving nearly four years ago without realising it leads on to these walks.
We set off, following the familiar path through the tunnel and along the river Braan (looking out for dippers) until we reached a fork in the trail and kept right. This is where our walk started to differ from previous visits, we never walk up this way as it’s further away from the water. It felt strange to hear the river but not see it.
With Ossian’s Hall straight ahead we carried on until the trail forks once more and we kept to the right. It felt really weird because this is the way that the Dude and I would normally follow back to the car, passing the totum pole.
Shortly after, we reached a much wider vehicle track and followed the Inver Path sign straight on. We were no longer walking under a tree canopy, instead the bright blue sky overhead made us squint slightly as we explored the new territory. It’s always exciting to walk a path for the first time, not knowing what’s around the next corner.
Keeping an eye on where we were going, the Dude waited for me to catch him up (standard procedure, bless him) at the point we now needed to turn left.
It’s here that the path starts to zig-zag and it’s gentle slope carried us up above the tree line, offering some super views. There has clearly been alot of work taken place here in the passed few years as large tree stumps are left for nature and new growth of next generation firs pop up along this route. This is a real safe haven for butterflies, we saw nearly thirty along this path. A mixture of Red Admirals, Orange Tips and Small Tortoiseshell too.
One last zig. Or maybe it’s a zag off to the right at the top and the path levels outs and we were, once more, in amongst the trees.
At the top
As first timers to this walk we found that this windy path keeps you guessing if you are nearly there yet and it’s only at the very last second Pine Cone Point reveals itself.
The view point offers a vista along strathtay and it’s hard not to notice the A9 snaking it’s way through the landscape but the beauty of this walk will be that the view will change each time. The sun could be higher (or not out at all), the shadows will be different and we’re in Big Tree Country so no matter what time of year the trees will always be impressive.
Just look at it below. A patchwork blanket of colour.
Across Perthshire there are many romantic follies but this is possibly the most modern I have seen. As the name suggests, it does in fact resemble a cone and now each wooden piece of the shelter has weathered over time it looks like it belongs here.
We were the only people up there and we had only seen one Forestry Commission guy working along the trail. Unlike our first visit in the new year, you could now barely hear the traffic rumbling along the A9. Protected by the new leafy tree canopy and the loud birdsong, it was a peaceful place to be. We retraced our steps from whence we came and enjoyed the views on our way back down.
Another new walk discovered
The Dude and I have the luxury of being able to take walks and have adventures Monday – Friday whilst many people are at work. Allowing us many wildlife spotting opportunities or to just enjoy nature’s orchestra. We have seen red squirrels and roe deer in Craigvinean Forest too. In winter we also discovered it’s quite a hot spot for hair ice and can be seen all over the woods when the conditions are just right.
For those wanting to stretch their legs for longer you can continue along the Inver Path. This takes you through the woods, under the A9, alongside the river Tay toward Dunkeld. It’s about an 11k walk with lots of highlights.
Pine Cone Point walk in Perthshire is a smashing wee wander and if you add it in with exploring the Hermitage too it becomes a great way to while away a couple of hours.