Distance: 6.4 miles / 10.3 km
Ascent: 985 feet / 300m
Start / finish area: Auchtermuchty
Other Pitmedden Forest walks:
This circular walk starts from the small Clink car park in Pitmedden Forest just outside Auchtermuchty (grid reference NO 223 128) . Pitmedden is good for walking but it is also very popular with mountain bikers. The walk described below uses some forest tracks but also makes extensive use of the mountain bike trails. Watch out for bikers on these trails. Pitmedden is also a working forest so from time to time you may come across forestry operations. The mountain bike trails can be muddy after rainfall. The forest itself is an interesting mix of spruce, pine and larch which provide contrasting areas for walking in. As you walk around open areas of the forest listen out for the call of buzzards hunting in the fields. If you are lucky you may even spot a red squirrel.
From the car park go through the gate onto a good path passing through pine, then beech and then larch trees. Keep straight on at any junctions until you reach the area of a house. Follow the purple arrow markers firstly right and then left through a gate past the house.
Turn right onto the public road and walk downhill for about 300m to reach a farm access road on your left. Go up the farm road (signed for Pitmedden Farm) uphill until you reach the first farm. Turn right at the farm, to pass through a gate onto a track at the back of the farm. This track continues uphill becoming a path before it meets the edge of the forest at a pedestrian gate.
Go through the gate onto a forest track. Although you are still going uphill, the gradient has eased off and soon the track becomes a lot flatter. Unfortunately there are no views from this section of the forest. Keep straight on at the track junctions on the main track until you reach the area of “Seven Gates” with a barrier gate across the track. Go left through the barrier gate and pass a quarry area on your left. You will now start to experience views to your left across to the Lomonds through gaps in the trees.
You can stay on the forest track but if you don’t mind muddy mountain bike trails pick up a trail on your right hand side opposite an open section on your left. The trail goes into pine trees and turns left to run parallel to the road. If it doesn’t do this you have probably left the road a bit too early. For most of this trail the road is still in sight through the trees, and pink ribbons tied round trees help with the route finding. When the pink ribbons go steeply downhill, keep to the left path (without the ribbons) and then go left at a T junction to bring you back to the forest road.
Cross over the forest road onto a mountain bike trail on the opposite side and keep left to reach the edge of the forest. As this area benefits from sunlight it is quite a bit drier than the previous trail. The path follows the fence line at the edge of the forest and you will be able to enjoy the views over the farmland and across to the Lomond Hills. When the path starts to turn left at a corner of the forest, keep straight on going round the corner. Go left at the next junction into an area of spruce forest with a low fence to your left.
If you chose to stay on the forest road instead of using the mountain bike trails you will need to look out for a right hand corner with a pile of logs on the left. There is a green sign on one of the logs to indicate that they are being left there as a wildlife habitat. Go left at the logs onto a mountain bike trail and then go left to reach the forest edge. When you reach the trail at the forest edge go right and follow the path to where you turn left into the spruce trees.
At the bottom of the hill you will join a forest track where you turn left. After about 250m you will reach a junction where you should keep right. The track that you are on becomes more of a path than a track for a while until it reaches another forest road.
Go left and immediately right through a gate on this road. When you reach the left hand corner look out for an obvious mountain bike trail on your right hand side shortly after the corner. From the path, a farm should be visible through the trees. Keep left at a junction and follow the trail until it joins a public road at Newhill Farm (converted to holiday cottages). Follow the purple arrow markers along the road around the farm. This road will take you back to the car park but if road walking is not your thing bear left back into the forest at a log barrier gate.
You are now back into the area of the Clink and there is a selection of paths through the woods which you could use. The following is just one possible option.
Keep on the main path through the beech trees beside a burn ignoring the path that goes uphill to your right. The path goes round the back of a small hillock and starts to climb uphill on the far side away from the burn. Follow the path alongside a wall and round to the left at the wall corner now going downhill. You will now have a clear view over towards Pitmedden Farm where you were earlier. Go right onto an obvious path to leave the wall and then right onto a wider track. The track meets the public road at a gate but just before the gate is a path on your left which you can use to return to the car park.
View / download route from Viewranger.
View / download route from Ordnance Survey.
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