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Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society
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Path of the Month
Ardeonaig to Comrie Drove Road
Ardeonaig to Comrie Drove Road

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Ardeonaig to Comrie Drove Road

Start location: Loch Tay at Ardeonaig (NN 666 362)
End location: just south of Coishavachan (NN 743 273)

Geographical area: Perth, Kinross and Stirling (part)
Path Type: Drove Road
Path distance: 14.5km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians

Route Description

Newsflash: in March 2021, this old drove road featured in BBC Scotland's Grand Tours of Scotland's Lochs with ScotWays' Field Officer Karen Inkster and presenter Paul Murton trekking along it together on horseback. The programme also includes a guest appearance from the former Callander & Oban Railway along with stories of Rob Roy. It's available on the iplayer until February 2022 and is well worth a watch.

Our route description runs from south to north. A quiet public road runs from Comrie up Glen Lednock. Just before Coishavachan, take the left fork which after 1km crosses the bridge over the River Lednock (NN732279). Continue by the tarred road on the south side of the reservoir, then go around its head across the river and climb north-east up grassy slopes for almost 1/2 km to reach the old indistinct track which climbs north-west up the hillside. Careful route-finding is necessary as there are many sheep tracks over the south-west shoulder of Creag Uchdag, and the col that you are aiming for between Ruadh Mheall and Creag Uchdag is rather featureless. Beyond it go NNW down the grassy glen, with barely any trace of a path, to the site of old shielings at the head of the Finglen Burn. Below there a path appears and leads down the right bank of the burn to Ardeonaig.

OS Landranger 51 (Loch Tay)

Heritage Information

According to ARB Haldane's 1962 book New Ways Through The Glens, in 1807 Lord Breadalbane and others proposed a road from Ardeonaig to Comrie in order to improve communication and to effect Improvement. It was stated that there existed only "unformed Tracks, and accessible only to Horses or the lightest Country Carts with very small loads". By 1811 Thomas Telford refers to it as the "new Road through Glen Lednaig" in the Fifth report of the Commissioners for Highland Roads and Bridges, but despite his approval, the new road was never constructed. However, the route was already established as a link between Loch Tay and Comrie, for Haldane's earlier book The Drove Roads Of Scotland (1951) indicates that the route was well used for cattle droving in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Loch Lednock is a reservoir, built as part of the Breadalbane Hydroelectric Power Scheme to provide storage for the St Fillans power station. The OS 1" 7th series map (surveyed 1954-61) shows the dam under construction - carefully designed to cope with earthquakes because of its proximity to the Highland Boundary Fault. The resultant flooding of the glen submerged the original line of the drove road, hence use of the newer tarred road on the south side of the reservoir to regain access to the older route beyond its head.

 



Copyright: Andrew Spenceley | Credits: NN685338 looking SSE along the Finglen Burn. On the left (in the cloud) is the Corbett, Creag Uchdag, while the right of way from Loch Tay to Comrie goes alongside this burn and over the col to the right of the obvious knoll on the skyline (2008).

Copyright: Gordon Brown | Credits: NN713286 The Hydro track to the west side of the Lednock reservoir (2006). Here it follows the line of a track up Glen Mathaig shown on the first edition 6 inch OS map.

Copyright: Alan O'Dowd | Credits: NN724282 Ruins at Glenmaik (2016). An abandoned cottage by the Allt Mathaig (Maik Burn), with Creag nan Eun ('crag of the birds') in the background.

Copyright: Dr Richard Murray | Credits: NN731279 looking east towards the bridge over the River Lednock. Behind the photographer, this hydro road goes to the small power station at the head of Loch Lednock and other hydroelectric installations (2009).

Copyright: Elliott Simpson | Credits: NN733278 looking NNW at the junction in Glen Lednock where the hydro road to the dam (right) leaves the public footpath to Ardeonaig (left) (2010).

 

 

 

Click here to view this path on a map

Gallery

Copyright: Richard Law | Credits: NN689329 looking WNW. The old right of way through the glen crosses the Finglen Burn at a ford just here (2012). Copyright: Richard Webb | Credits: NN742473 Looking NW towards An Dun, at the meeting of drove roads in Glen Lednock, originating from different parts of Loch Tay (2005). NB There's often no path to keep to, and no requirement to keep to one. The rest of the advice is essential though!

 

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