Old road from Craigton
Start location: Craigton, A93 (NO 133 577)
End location: Balmyle, A924 (NO 098 556)
Geographical area: Perth, Kinross and Stirling (part)
Path Type: Rural Path
Path distance: 4.5km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians
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This is a route of two halves: the eastern half is a forest ride which preserves very well the line of the traditional route and the western half (on the westward slope down to Merklands) is open moor, on which the path-line has faded almost completely.
Craigton (NO133577) on the A93 Blairgowrie-Braemar road, sits on a right-angled bend, where there is open/ungated access into a farm yard. From the yard, one has only to glance to the left / west to see the onward route, namely a tractor track leading towards the edge of the forest and a kissing-gate about 150m away. In the forest, the route zig-zags gently upwards on a path of pine / larch needles and emerges shortly into a broad (30m), open, heathery forest ride, with the line of the route clearly apparent as a grass-grown 'shelf' along the southern side of the ride. This leads nearly all the way to Loch Mharaich, merging with the forest road which comes up from near Blackwater Hall some 300m before the loch. The road forks twice in this 300m; the route to the loch follows first the left then the right fork and terminates on a pleasant grassy flat overlooking the loch. Minor woodland paths can be followed around half the circumference of the loch and then on, uphill and westwards, to a gate at the forest edge, on the watershed.
From the forest edge, the route onwards is hard to find because the path has faded. We have been told there is a drystane dyke that runs across the moor to the corner of a wood at NO108567, which although is no path the going is much easier. Any further advice on the best route to take from the forestry down to Balmyle on the A93 will be gratefully received.
OS Landranger 53 (Blairgowrie & surrounding area)
The walk up the forestry road is easy and obvious, but the path from Craigton is much more interesting. Close to the A93 where the going is steeper, the path, though old, can be seen to have been built, with rocks having been moved and piled at each side. The OS 6" map shows quite clearly a footpath leading from Craigton up the hill, through some old settlements and cairns, past Loch Mharaig and on out on the moor heading towards Muir of Merklands. It's a nice wee walk, over and back, with quite spectacular views over Strathardle from the ridge of the moor.