Distance: 8 miles / 13km
Ascent: 1250 feet / 380m
Start / finish area: Abernethy
Other walks in Pitmedden Forest:
An 8 mile circular walk around Pitmedden Forest straddling the Fife and Perth & Kinross border. This walk takes you to the summit of Lumbennie Hill which at 284m is the highest point of the forest and lies within the Fife area. However, the best views are from the area of Pitcairlie Hill which is in Perth and Kinross. The walk uses forest road but also uses mountain bike trails. Please watch out for bikers when using these trails.
A small amount of parking is available at the forest entrance at grid reference NO 188 141 between Strathmiglo and Abernethy. Some more parking is available at the side of the forest road further into the forest.
From the forest entrance, walk up the main forest track keeping straight on at the first junction. Soon after the junction you will reach a wide corner. Go left at this corner on to a mountain bike trail between the spruce and pine trees, alongside a low fence. After passing a small pond on your left you will cross over a burn. Keep right on the main path which leads away from the fence and the spruce trees at a junction.When you reach the top of the hill, keep right and then go left to follow the trail to meet the forest road.
If you would prefer not to use the mountain bike trail, you can walk up the road from the parking area to the second junction and go left through a barrier gate onto the forest road above. The point where the trail meets the road is about 650m from the junction.
Cross over the road and pick up another mountain bike track on the other side. You will pass a small pond on your left and then reach a larger pond. Turn right at this second pond (either before or after the pond) to reach the forest edge. Turn left onto a path which runs along the edge of the forest with open views across the fields to your right.
The path will eventually head back into the forest to join the forest road but before it does so you can pick up another trail on your right up a short steep slope (there will be a mountain biking term for this but I don’t know what it is). Eventually this path also re-joins the main forest track where you turn right.
Again you can miss out the mountain bike trails by simply staying on the main forest road.
The next section can be walked on the forest road which from time to time affords views to your right across to the Lomond Hills. Alternatively to avoid some of the road walking pick up the mountain bike trail on the opposite side of the road and follow it to the right so that you are going in the same direction as the road. You will reach a trail with pink ribbons around the trees which helps with route finding. Unfortunately you will miss out on views though. The trail will eventually bring you back to the road where you turn left.
After passing a quarry area go straight on at a junction through a barrier gate and up the hill. This next section is less scenically pleasing than previously as it is in spruce forest. Go right at the first junction where there is a purple arrow marker and then go right at a second junction onto a grassy track which goes slightly downhill. The grassy surface provides pleasant walking as you follow it around the side of Lumbennie Hill, the highest point in the forest. When you reach the powerlines, look out for a rough path at the very edge of the firebreak after passing under both sets of power lines.
This next bit is a bit rough underfoot but it is short. Pick your way up the firebreak as best as you can following the feint path. The unremarkable summit of the hill lies under the left hand power line and is marked with an OS trig point.
After the summit continue on downwards through the firebreak which is easier if you can follow a route that people have walked before you. Turn left when you meet a forest track.
At the first junction go straight on following the purple arrow marker and then turn right at the next junction. You are now on a loop around Pitcairlie Hill and although predominantly spruce, the planting is fairly sparse on the higher sections giving excellent views northwards over the Tay. The actual summit lies just off the track and will require a short detour. There are a couple of bench seats at the furthest north point where the views are particularly good provided you can ignore the pylons in the foreground. Keep following the track around the hill until you return to the barrier gate.
Now go right at the gate on a track through some beech trees to reach a field. Follow the yellow arrow marker left into the trees and then go right at a T junction also with a yellow arrow. The next bit is somewhat dark as it goes through densely planted spruce. However, you soon emerge at a pedestrian gate into a field.
The path now goes left following the field edge and through another gate. These fields may have sheep in them so keep dogs on a short lead. Follow the track across the fields and down the hill. As you start to approach Abernethy, go left at a green signpost to cross the river and then go left at the green sign post on the other side. The path now starts to go back uphill. Keep to your right heading towards a house and two wind turbines.
When you reach the vicinity of the house, you need to go through a gate and walk round the left side of the house to join a vehicle track. This track soon reaches a barrier gate where you re-enter the forest. Keep straight on at a junction and when you enter the forest proper you will be back on a track heading to the first junction that you passed earlier in the day. At the end of the track go sharp right and down the hill back to the parking area. It’s possible to short cut this corner using mountain bike trails but it does involve a steep descent.
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View / download this route from Ordnance Survey.
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